Here's what to do when your boss catches you looking for a new job

We’ve solicited readers to submit their most pressing career-related questions.

With the help of Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and the author of “Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behaviour and Thrive in Your Job,” we’ve answered the following: “I think my boss knows I’m looking for a new job. What should I do?”

Whether you think your boss suspects that you’re looking for a new job — or you’re certain they know, because they caught you red-handed — you’ll probably feel anxious and perhaps even doomed.

“Maybe you were caught visiting a job board; there was a snitch among your ‘trusted networks’; or it turns out your boss actually does notice you — that is, your frequent LinkedIn updates, long lunches, and ‘doctor visits’ the days you come in wearing a suit. But before you seek refuge under the nearest credenza, take heart; you can recover from this,” Taylor explains.

First, she says, you need to realise that this happens to so many people. “Most workers stay employed while they conduct a job search, and even if you do it on your lunch hour or breaks, there can still be other outward signs if you’re not extra vigilant: a new, interview-worthy wardrobe, more absences and visible networking online, and an overall change in behaviour,” she says.

If you’re in the midst of a job search or thinking about one, now is the time to be prepared for softening the blow to your manager (and to your career), she says. “Of course, more than an ounce of job hunting discretion doesn’t hurt, either.”

Here’s what to do if your boss calls you out:

Readers: Want us to answer your questions related to your career or job search? Tweet Careers editor Jacquelyn Smith @JacquelynVSmith or email her at jsmith(at)businessinsider(dot)com, and we'll do our best to answer them.

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