How your boss can tell you are looking for another jobJune 7, 2016
Ieuan Williams, Director at Mane Consulting wrote an article for news.com.au
EVEN the least astute managers will pick up these telltale signs you’re thinking of quitting. You’re more obvious than you think.
IN THE excitement of searching for shiny and exciting new pastures we often forget about our worn and tired current job.
Whether you intend to leave on good terms or in a blaze of burnt bridges, it is important to exit in your own time frame without arising suspicion in your current workplace.
Here are the main reasons your boss will suspect you are thinking leaving:
1. A DROP IN THE QUALITY OF YOUR WORK
This may seem like an easy one to avoid. But this is the most common reason agencies get called to replace you!
Spending upwards of 40 hours a week with someone should give even the least astute manager an insight into when you are having a good or a bad day performance wise. If these days unusually add up, your boss will know there is something wrong. Even if this drop off is subconscious, you need to keep this in mind during the interview process.
Advice: Despite your mind being on something more exciting, keep your head in the game. From a pride and ethical point of view, you are still getting paid to produce the best you can.
2. YOU SUDDENLY BECOME EASY GOING ABOUT LONG TERM PLANNING
If you are a boardroom warrior or a shrinking violet we all have an opinion on the direction our company or department is going and the environment we work in. If overnight your opinions become less vocal and your attitude more nonchalant towards the future, this will get noticed.
Advice: Treat all meetings and conversations as if you were as engaged as ever, be careful not to get embroiled in long term projects that you don’t expect yourself to be around to complete them, but don’t shy away from giving your opinion either.
3. UNUSUAL TIME KEEPING
Your boss will notice if you suddenly start wandering into work at 10am instead of 8am, or leaving at 4pm instead of 5:30pm. Even more so if this is backed up with wafer-thin excuses, such as having to go to the dentist, doctor, funerals etc.
Corporate animals are creatures of habit, and bosses can predict to within five minutes when their employees will turn up and leave each day.
Advice: Interview before or after work. If your new employers are keen they will make time. Alternatively use technology to your advantage, Skype or Facetime in the evenings is a viable alternative. Most importantly if you do need to interview during work hours — do not use the same excuse twice! I have heard of employees having three grandmothers, all of whom were on their deathbed.
4. YOU START LOOKING SMARTER THAN USUAL
Rule 101 of interviewing — look the part! But don’t do this to the detriment of your current job. If you are normally a jeans and T-shirt guy do not come into work on a random Tuesday in a three-piece suit! Nothing will arise suspicion more.
Advice: If you know you have an interview in a week’s time, slowly increase your smartness over a few days. Alternatively, go home to get changed. Or, because most companies are pretty relaxed about dress code these days, even at interview, you could always make them aware prior that you will not be coming suited and booted. This shows forethought and initiative.
5. SHOWING EXTRA INTEREST IN PROCESSES AND OTHER AREAS OF THE BUSINESS
This is a more sinister sign that an employee is on the move. If you are moving to a competitor in the same or similar industry you may want to know about other departments including sales and processes. Obtaining this information when you have one foot out the door is certainly unethical, and dependent on how you use that information could also be illegal.
Advice: Don’t do it. If you have only been interested in your own cubical for six years and have not shown any interest in how marketing is trying to increase spend per head with a new demographic then don’t start asking now!
6. YOU UPDATE SOCIAL MEDIA
Everyone today is trying to tell you how to behave on social media. This is because social media is as much your enemy as it is your friend when looking for a new job. We all know how it can benefit you with the new channels to market such as job portals and professional networking.
However, and it is a big however, you use these at your own peril. A good headhunter will spot a potential candidate with any slight change on their linkedin page. Even more obvious is with the new Seek profile function recruiters can search by the last time you updated your CV. This is important to know, mainly because if I can see it, so can your employer.
Advice: Use social media and job posting websites but use them with maxim security. Your security settings can be changed in your settings for both seek.com.au and linkedin.com. This may reduce your chances in being found by new employers but being found by your current employer is not worth the risk.
Ieuan Williams is a senior leader within the recruitment industry.