Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Time Off for Job Interviews

Sk8ter Girl writes:

I have a job, but it's not doing what I want to keep doing for my entire career. It's in the same field I want to be in but the growth opportunities are not anything I would want for my future. I want to start looking for another job but my problem is that I have very limmited vacation and sick days and it's hard to schedule my interviews. I have two places that have called me back when they saw my resume but it's going to be hard to get out of work because the times they BOTH can see me are during my normal work day. Aside from an extended lunch break, which is not allowed without a doctor's note, how can I get around this issue? Any suggestions would be great. I am afraid to let my boss know I am looing though, because I like my current job and don't want to lose my position if I am unable to find something else. 

Sacrificing a little vacation time is just part of the job hunting process. Since "limited" means different things to different people, I'm not sure if you're talking about not wanting to cut a day off your two-week trip to the south of France this summer, or if even getting a long weekend is a struggle. Either way, you need to decide for yourself whether another day off at some point this year is worth however many more months you end up stuck in a job you don't want. Another possible option could be adjusting your hours to cover the missed time. So if you're out 3 hours for an interview, come in early or skip lunch for the next three days, and you should be even.

In terms of telling your employer what you're doing on your time off, you really shouldn't owe them more than "I'm taking a half-day next Friday because I have an appointment." If they demand more, they deserve to be lied to ("the plumber's coming"). I take issue with any company that requires a doctor's note for a long lunch. They shouldn't be surprised that their employees are looking elsewhere.

1 comment:

  1. As someone who's recently been involved with interviewing and hiring I can tell you that employers are impressed with you and your interview. If you're confident with yourself and with your new position it will go a lot farther than anything else.
    The caveat though is that you need to do your research with the new company and with the new position as much as possible. You can never know too much!
    Do your research, present yourself well and the world is yours.
    If you're not too good at presenting yourself then you need to practice. Get the person you know best. Whether it's your boyfriend, girlfriend, dad, mom, brother, sister, good friend, get the person who knows you best and who will be the most honest with you. Then tell that person to be as hard on you as possible. You want to test yourself harder than the actual interview so that when the interview comes you're comfortable and think it's easy.
    As far as taking time off of work for an interview, if you think the interview is worthwhile then take the time off. If you start a new job then you'll have to start fresh with all your benefits so in the end it doesn't really matter.