Is it time for a change? Has your current job become unbearable or is it simply time for a career move? Whatever the reason, if you’re still employed, you need to take care when searching for a job while at work on company time. Sometimes employers understand, and some don’t even mind, when their employees are using productivity time to look for employment elsewhere. There are some, however, who may make your exit a tad faster than you anticipated.
Quite a few companies are now allowing Internet access. Using company resources, however, for personal reasons can be grounds for termination. Just because the Internet is available, does not necessarily give the freedom to use it for personal reasons. Some employers even go as far as monitoring the sites their employees visit and the amount of time spent on the Internet. Keep your online activity to a minimum.
Do you do the "guilty click"? You’re on the Internet and as soon as you see your boss approaching, you quickly click to close the page. Remember, they may still have reports showing what you were doing. You may think you’re being discreet, but the guilty click is an obvious sign recognized by most employers.
Remember your co-workers are not always your friends, even if you spend time with them outside of the workplace. Don't forget that they have friends too. So if you tell-a-friend keep in mind that friend may also tell-a-friend. Once the chain gets going, there is nothing to stop it from reaching your boss.
Are you taking time off to interview? A casual dresser showing up all decked-out is a sure sign that something is going on. Other tip offs include; requesting a lot of leave on short notice, longer lunches or coming in later. Interviewing often puts you at mercy of the interviewer’s schedule. You may think you’re putting one over on your boss, but chances are you’re not. It doesn’t hurt to ask the hiring manager, however, if you could set up the interview outside of normal business hours.
What about working with a recruiter? Sure that sounds like a great idea, but remember recruiters also work during business hours so you would still be seeking employment on company time.
The best way to avoid trouble is to conduct your job search on your own time. Breaks or a lunch are the best times to conduct any of your personal business. Since lunch breaks are usually unpaid, employers have little say over what you do during this time. Lying to your boss sounds better, but the risk of getting caught by another (vengeful) employee isn’t worth it.