Whoops! Your boss just discovered that you're interviewing for a new job. Now what? It depends. First of all, it's time for damage control and you'll need to act quickly.
Perhaps you weren't actively seeking employment, but were solicited to interview. If so, tell your boss that you love your job, you want to stay, and you were simply interested in hearing what the company had to say. Make it very clear that you don't have plans to leave in the near future, if, in fact, that's the case.
When You Were Considering a Job Change
Were you considering a job change? Janet Scarborough Civitelli, VocationVillage.com, suggests explaining to your supervisor that your standard operating procedure for career management is to do continual assessment of your short and long-term career goals.
If you present your participation in an interview as a chance to learn more about your marketability and competitiveness in the job marketplace rather than a rejection of your current job, your boss may (hopefully) take it less personally.
When You Hate Your Job
Do you hate your job and can't wait to find a new one? Then maybe getting caught isn't such a bad thing. This might be a good opportunity to review the issues you have and perhaps even resolve them.
At the very least, it will clear the air and get the problems on the table. Worst case scenario, you can make plans for an amicable departure and perhaps gain your employer's support and assistance in your job search.
Tell the Truth
Whatever the circumstances - tell the truth. Especially in a case like this where there just isn't much you can say. Lies always seem to find a way to come back to haunt you! Be prepared for an uncomfortable time period while you and the boss get back into a normal routine.
Don't be surprised if your boss is upset for quite a while and consider that he may wonder if and when you are going to resign and whether he should consider replacing you. Just remember - these are routine consequences in pursuit of the job you want to do for the rest of your working career.
How Not to Get Caught
When you don't want your current employer to find out that you are job hunting, there are steps you can take to keep your job search confidential.
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