I was recently reading a “debate” on LinkedIn (LI) by career specialists of all kinds, from recruiters to resume writers to career coaches. The topic centered around employees finding a way to get out of work to go to an interview. It was in response to an article on the subject that listed 10 excuses for job seekers to consider telling. (http://tinyurl.com/cx58958). The discussion was heated. Now, I thought the article was pretty lame in terms of some of the ideas presented, but ultimately a good number of people have no choice but to make up an excuse to go to an interview
A good number of those who were participating in the discussion felt job seekers could easily schedule interviews before or after work, at lunch time, or take personal time. They felt if you did anything else and made up a lie or excuse, you were unethical. I agree the initial ideas they mentioned are the best way to go, but unfortunately they aren’t always possible. Some employers will not accommodate interview times other than those they have set aside. They will not accommodate to schedule before or after work. And, even if you go during lunch, you will most likely be late coming back, so you still may have to tell your employer something as to why.
Now admittedly, management usually has an easier time getting out without questions being asked. And, they probably can get away with not explaining why they are late getting back from lunch. But, if you are a staff member, let’s say in an office job or on a production line, you can’t just leave. And, you can bet you will be asked where you were if you come back late from lunch. Are these people going to say they were at an interview? Very few. Its not about lying. It’s about saving your job. Most employers treat you different once they know you are looking. Some will immediately fire you. Who wants to take that chance?
I do believe you need to be as ethical as you can. Try to schedule it outside of work time or take a personal day as mentioned. But for a good number of people who can’t, you have to do what you have to do. I know I did when I was employed outside my own business. And to be ethical, you make up the time. Personally, I think it is simply part of the job search process. And I know that those I interviewed with felt the same way, because, later, when they went on to other positions, they did the same thing.
So what do you think? Weigh in.