Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, August 19, 2022

Interviewing for another job? Keep it to yourself

Benjamin Franklin said, “Three can keep a secret, if two of them are dead.” It’s hard to overstate the importance of keeping your job search private from your work colleagues.

Getting an interview can be exciting, especially if it goes well. If you’re dying to leave your company, the hope of a new job can leave you feeling both relieved and energized. And, the more interviews you have with one company, the better the chances are that you’ll get the job. Right?

Some of the reasons I’ve heard for sharing this job search secret include:

• “I know this person is my friend, so it’s OK.”

• “My boss and I are close; they won’t mind.”

• “My company needs to know I’m interviewing, so they’ll be prepared if I do leave. It’s the right thing to do.”

• “I want to see if my company will give me more money to stay.”

First, none of these reasons provide the personal benefit they appear to. They simply give away your power. And worse, they put your current job at risk.

Nothing is a sure bet when it comes to interviewing. Even if a company has talked to you 10 times and is in love with you, the position may be put on hold for budgetary reasons. The hiring manager might leave, halting the process. The company could reorganize and decide the job may no longer be needed.

There’s no offer until it is in writing and in your hands. It could take you as long as a year or more to find a job. In the meantime, you still have bills to pay and a family to feed. Why would you put that in jeopardy?

Often, a boss you perceive to be your friend feels an obligation to let the company know you have disclosed this information to them. Even if they like you, your search might be perceived as disloyalty to the company. In the worst-case scenario, you may be fired and asked to leave immediately.

Keep this in mind when it comes to asking for more money: If you don’t have a written job offer, what incentive does your company have to give you a raise? None. There’s no good reason they should offer you any more money just because you’ve been interviewing.

Don’t be surprised if the word gets around if you begin to tell colleagues about your search. People love to find something to talk about. If you share information about your search, you’re setting yourself up to become next. The last thing you want is for word to get back to your boss before you’ve found a job.

As exciting as it is to share about your job search, it’s 100% unwise to do so. You’ll set yourself up for failure that can be difficult to repair.

When it comes to job searching, there’s no better alternative than to keep yours secret.

Angela Copeland, a leadership and career expert, can be reached at copelandcoaching.com.