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What to do When Your Employer Finds Out That You Are Looking For a New Job

What to Do When Your Employer Finds Out That You Are Looking for A New Job

Here’s the scenario. Your boss asks you if you could step into their office for a quick word. You have no idea why, but you readily agree. As soon as you step into his office, he closes the door, asks you to sit down, and casually asks you, “So, are you happy here?”

“Why?” you ask.

“Because,” he says, “I just heard that you had applied to a similar position at Melvin Motor Company.”

Oh, crud. Now, it all comes rushing back to you. You applied on their website a few weeks back to a tantalizing position at MelMoCo, then spoke briefly with the company recruiter. You’re not quite sure how your boss found out, but it may have something to do with the fact that Fred over in the Operations department used to work there, and somebody called him to ask about you.

It doesn’t really matter how your fat landed in the fire. But now you have to explain to your boss your alleged act of treason.

What do you do?

  • Before saying anything else, cool off evaluate your situation. Don’t let your emotions be the spark in what can be an electrically-charged situation. Try to think through your position.
  • Apologize for how your manager found out. True, almost nobody tells their manager that they’re looking for a new job, but that can’t help that they probably feel betrayed. So, make sure that they know you regret that they heard about your application through the grapevine rather than from you.
  • Turn the conversation into a career discussion. Hopefully, prior to this point you’ve been having meetings with your manager about your career aspirations and your opportunities for personal development, so the groundwork would already be in place. Regardless, something sparked you to look at another role – a new challenge, a promotion opportunity, or some other career factor. Let your boss know you truly enjoy working for him and the company, but that you were looking to stretch yourself in the direction you identified, and would love to continue to do so here. Hopefully, this can be the basis for a constructive conversation about where you’d like your career to go.
  • Don’t make any rash statements. Your manager may be looking for a promise that you are going to stay – and he may be desperate enough not to lose you that he’ll toss out some promises of his own (promotions, raises, corner office, etc.). Resist the urge to tell him you’ll stay for eternity, or to beg to keep your job – but make sure that he knows you appreciate the opportunity to work at the company, and that your strong desire is to stay at your current company.
  • Prepare for the consequences. Depending upon how deftly you handled the conversation, and how valued you are as an employee in the organization, you could face either the carrot (incentive to stay through career development) or the stick (a stalled career or, worse, fired). Pray for the former, but you may need to accept the latter.

Incidentally, make sure that you document the discussion you have with your manager. Any promises by you – or them – about the future should be honored by both sides, and you don’t want to forget what was said.

One last word about confidentiality. Keeping the interview process mum can be tricky and unreliable, no matter how hard you or a company try to keep things quiet. Besides the gossip mill, other leaks do occur – it’s entirely possible (and not entirely unlikely) that you may run into a coworker at your prospective new employer, interviewing for the same job. And in case this didn’t occur to you, your current employer keeps track of what web sites you visit, so applying to the MelMoCo job portal at work may not be such a great idea.

Scott Singer is the President and Founder of Insider Career Strategies Resume Writing & Career Coaching, a firm dedicated to guiding job seekers and companies through the job search and hiring process. He is a Human Resources professional and staffing expert with almost two decades of in-house corporate HR and staffing firm experience, and is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Certified Professional Career Coach (CPCC).

Insider Career Strategies provides resume writing, LinkedIn profile development, and career coaching services, including a free resume review. You can email Scott Singer at scott.singer@insidercs.com, or via the website, www.insidercs.com.

 

5 Ways to Combat Hiring Manager Indecision in the Interview Process

5 Ways to Combat Hiring Manager Indecision in the Interview Process

Have you ever noticed that companies are bit slow to make hiring decisions these days?

It's not unusual for the interview process to take days, weeks, sometimes even months. Or for the process to involve meeting with upwards of 10 interviewers. And to involve reference checks or personality tests or other exams before making a decision.

You're not imagining things, and it's no accident, either. The interview process is taking longer because employers are more afraid of risk.

But first some context. Let's rewind about 7 or 8 years ago, to the height of the recession. There were a glut of job seekers, and fewer jobs to go around. At the time, companies had more of options of candidates from which to choose, so they took advantage of this buyer's market. They became more selective.

Now it's 2016 and as I check today the unemployment rate in the United States is 4.9%. If you as a job seeker have some talent, it's more of a seller's market, but you wouldn't know it by the interview process. Here are some reasons why:

  • Companies became used to being able to cherry pick employees in the bad market. They haven't adjusted their mindset to the reality of the moment, which is that there's more jobs than qualified people to fill them. So they're more inclined to wait for that "perfect fit," even if they don't exist.
  • Managers are terrified to make a bad hiring decision. They fear that if they hire somebody who doesn't work out, for whatever reason, it's a bad reflection on them. And maybe it is, maybe it isn't. But hiring decisions aren't forever (we're ALL replaceable).
  • Blame is to be shared. If you're afraid to make a hiring decision, what's the best way to cover yourself? Why not make sure that the whole team has a part in the decision making process? Many managers are delegating their hiring authority to their teams, their peers, their internal and external customers, and other stakeholders so that if the person doesn't work out, everybody can throw up their hands and say, "Well, that candidate fooled all 34 of us who interviewed him!" No single person then takes the blame for making a bad decision. And how freaking hard is it to impress EVERYBODY that you interview with - without consensus, you likely won't get the nod.

So, what can you do to shake things loose when you seem to be stuck in the wheels of the interview process? There's no guaranteed remedy, but here are some ways to kick loose from hiring manager indecision!

  1. Try your best to take control of the process. Be proactive in asking the recruiter and hiring manager what the next steps will be and when you can expect to hear from them. Ask if they need anything else from you to help move the process forward.
  2. Demonstrate your interest in the role, right now. Convey excitement for the position. Verbalize this, telling anybody who will listen, "I'm very excited by this opportunity, and would love to joint the team!" You'd be surprised how many job seekers never clearly express their interest in the job. People notice.
  3. Send thank you notes, to everybody. It's that little bit of extra effort that shows you care and that you listened to what the interviewers said. I've seen well-placed thank you notes put a job candidate over the top since it makes such a positive impression.
  4. Keep the employer apprised. Check in from time to time. If you are expecting an offer from another company, and time is of the essence, pick up the phone and call the recruiter and let them know that their company is your first choice, but you are anticipating having to make a decision soon. It may push things forward.
  5. Be proactive with references, backup data, or anything else that may help your case. If you show that you are open and have nothing to hide, you may be able to leverage these little extras in the name of progress.

 

Scott Singer is the President and Founder of Insider Career Strategies Resume Writing & Career Coaching, a firm dedicated to guiding job seekers and companies through the job search and hiring process. He is a Human Resources professional and staffing expert with almost two decades of in-house corporate HR and staffing firm experience, and is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Certified Professional Career Coach (CPCC).

Insider Career Strategies provides resume writing, LinkedIn profile development, and career coaching services, including a free resume review. You can email Scott Singer at scott.singer@insidercs.com, or via the website, www.insidercs.com.

 

Ten Reasons You're Going To Get the Job!

Here are ten reasons you're going to get the job!

  1. "My guy just quit today. Let's see if this uniform fits you."
  2. You're so tall! And that full head of hair is such a nice shade of silver!
  3. The boss sees on your resume that you were in the college bowling club. They really need a fourth for league night.
  4. You went to Northwestern. Their manager went to Northwestern.
  5. "Wait, you heard about this place? And you still want to work here?"
  6. You whitened your teeth yesterday with Borax. Your gums hurt, and your liver wants to escape, but your smile looks so good!
  7. "I can't believe you like money too. We should hang out."
  8. The manager hates her objectives. But she realizes she can get you to do them for her.
  9. The job's been open for eight months. GIVE ME A BODY!
  10. You have a degree. And an immaculate employment history. And a clean resume. And no dandruff. And you used a good deodorant.

Life may not be fair, but it sure as hell is interesting. Do the best you can do in terms of preparing for the interviews, and you'll do what you can to stack the odds in your favor.

Scott Singer is the President and Founder of Insider Career Strategies Resume Writing & Career Coaching, a firm dedicated to guiding job seekers and companies through the job search and hiring process. He is a Human Resources professional and staffing expert with almost two decades of in-house corporate HR and staffing firm experience, and is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Certified Professional Career Coach (CPCC).

Insider Career Strategies provides resume writing, LinkedIn profile development, and career coaching services, including a free resume review. You can email Scott Singer at scott.singer@insidercs.com, or via the website, www.insidercs.com.