When it comes to searching for a job while working full time, one has to remember there are no set rules. You have to make your own judgment calls.
Though most companies have a code of conduct, which says that one cannot use the company’s infrastructure for personal use, there isn’t any law that stops you from making a call from the office, use the net for online job postings or making your resume. The main question is how should employees go about searching for jobs?
There are some strict dos and don’ts regarding this.
- Try to make minimum calls to headhunters and other companies from office – people around you could be listening to your conversation.
- If you get a call from a company or a headhunter, either tell them you will call back or ask them to call at your residence later in the day.
- If the headhunter wants to meet you, go ahead and do so – one does not know when you may actually need his/her services.
- When you are called for an interview, take leave on that day rather than taking a half-day because you may get delayed and feel unnecessarily pressed for time during the interview. Anyway, if you have to go out of town, then you do not have a choice.
- If you are asked during the interview, if they can contact your present employers, then feel confident enough to say “YES” otherwise they may feel that you have something to hide.
- If you are asked why you want to leave, try and give standard answers like “…looking at furthering my growth prospects…or looking for a better opportunity” rather than criticizing your present company.
And it’s always better to speak about your new job offer to your colleagues till you have the offer letter and are ready to resign.
But there are certainly some guilt pangs and the best way to deal with this is to avoid “misusing” company resources. Says Andrew, an HR Executive, “You are definitely wasting your current employer’s time and making improper use of the company’s resources.” But once in a while, he doesn’t mind browsing for online jobs while at work.
Jennifer, an employee with a leading IT firm takes this a step forward: “I never use any office stationary.” Plus she would go an extra mile to make all her calls from her cell phone outside of the office. “Using a phone outside the office is a better option as I can sound animated about the job and take down notes without someone peeping over my shoulder.” she adds.
Lisa, who works in medical billing, however, draws the line when it comes to working on her resumes and covering letters in the office. “There is always the possibility of your boss waltzing right in and catching you in the act.” Not that he is going to be too offended, but a certain level of discomfort is bound to prevail thereafter. As a vice-president of a private sector company says: ” I would realize that the person is either not happy with me or the organization or is getting a better deal.” But he will not refrain from giving him responsibilities. Being a professional, he feels that one performs their duties to the best of their ability till the last day.
All said and done, when do you let the cat out of the bag? When your boss does find out that you are leaving, it is best he hears it from the horse’s mouth than from ‘reliable sources’. The bottom line is to create minimum bad blood when you are leaving a company. You never know, your present boss may join you as your “new” boss somewhere, someday.