Office Politics and the Job Search

telecommuteEven under the best of working conditions, it’s natural to wonder if the grass is greener on the other side of the corporate pasture. A few possible job opportunities have presented themselves; you’ve sent out resumes and even gone to an interview or two; and, you’ve talked over the situation with co-workers, family and friends.

You’re still not sure whether you ought to take that one offer you just got, much less the two others that look like they could come through. And you may not entirely be ready to give up your current position.

Since you’ve confided in practically everyone you know, is now the time to discuss your career options with your boss? Would that person be more inclined to fight to keep you, or maybe just let you go your own way?

Experts say that deciding to tell your boss that you’re in the midst of a job search is, as might be imagined, a tricky enterprise. It can be helpful to consider a few main ideas.

First, take a look at you present situation and your present employee-boss relationship. It pays to evaluate this before the external offers start trickling in, because a supportive boss might find a way to keep you (by adding responsibilities, an improved job title or a raise), or pull a few strings to help you move to another department/position within the organization. Talking to a boss who’s hard to read can also be beneficial, because you have taken the time to involve them in the conversation early on. This allows for the possibility of collaboration and above-board communication.

If you’re unsure of your relationship with your manager, or already know that you two are on rocky ground, it’s probably best not to say anything about your intent to move on to other things. This doesn’t mean that you need to clam up, be secretive and do only the bare minimum around the office – in the hopes of blending into the background and escaping any out-of-the-ordinary attention. On the contrary, keep working at your best during the search. Doing so can only help you in the end.

Whatever you choose to do, be sure not to drop hints or reveal signs that you might be looking, much less leaving. Do any online research away from the office and take or make any calls on your personal cell phone, also while out of the office. And be careful about advertising your activities on social media.

However the new search works out, your manager will remember how you handled yourself and your responsibilities in the final days of employment. And so will your colleagues.

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