Ask The Insider columnist Ashley Lutz answers all your work-related questions, including the awkward, sensitive, and real-world ones. Have a question? Email [email protected]
What is the etiquette of leaving the office to interview for a new job? After more than a year in my position, I’m not being challenged anymore. I’m also frustrated with my boss.
I work in a small office with about 25 people. My coworkers do not know that I’m looking for another job, and I’d like to keep it that way.
My coworkers notice when I leave. We all sit right next to one another, and my boss often likes to call impromptu meetings.
I know everybody does it, but I always feel bad making up fake doctors’ appointments or taking sick days in order to go to interviews.
I don’t like to lie, but how can I excuse myself from the office to interview for other opportunities?
Interviewing for a new job is not a reason to feel remorse.
The sources of your restlessness at work — being bored, not growing your skill set, and having the boss from hell — are all well-known signs you should quit your job.
Once your current position isn’t serving you, it’s time to look for better opportunities. When it comes to calling off work, less is more.
I’d recommend being as vague as possible with your boss. Sure, you don’t want them to suspect that you’re interviewing, but being vague ensures you won’t be caught in a lie.
Simply say you have an appointment at X time and ask if it’s OK for the time off. If he or she presses you for details, say it’s personal. You don’t owe a detailed explanation.
You should use the same language regardless of what the appointment is or whether you’re interviewing for a new job. There’s no need to specify whether you’re going to the dentist, doctor, or another company.
If you establish this language for any appointment, it won’t stick out when you’re going to interview.
As for your coworkers, I wouldn’t bring your absence to their attention at all. If you must (or if they ask) tell them you have to leave for an appointment. I doubt they’re going to notice or care.
And remember that in many offices, getting another offer gives you leverage. Many of my qualified, intelligent friends have gotten raises simply because their boss suspected they were interviewing somewhere else.
Getting off work for interviews is the easy part, and you shouldn’t spend too much time worrying about it.
Instead, I would recommend spending more time reflecting on why your current company isn’t serving you.
What do you hope to achieve in your career? What are your long-term goals? What kind of salary do you think you deserve?
Once you figure out what you want, you can work toward a happier tomorrow.
Ashley Lutz is a senior editor at Business Insider answering all your questions about the workplace. Send your queries to [email protected] for publication on Business Insider. Requests for anonymity will be granted, and questions may be edited.