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 Articles and Advice

 Wait Until Its Official!

By Joe Stein

When things are going well in your job search, it is sometimes hard to control your excitement. You are busy interviewing and things appear to be progressing very nicely towards an offer. You may even have been tipped off by the Hiring Manager that an offer is forthcoming. As excited as you may be, it is important that you channel this energy until everything is official, especially if you have run a low-key or confidential job search.
If we are honest with ourselves, when things are going well, we typically behave and communicate differently than when times are tough. In this situation, we often let our guard down, leaving us vulnerable to the risks that caused us to run a confidential job search in the first place.
You may be wondering what are some of the changes you need to be on alert for during your job search. Let’s take a look at some of the most common mistakes that are made by overeager job seekers.
• Stay Productive At Work - It is tempting to dial back your work standards when you are pretty sure you will be leaving soon. Keep your attendance impeccable (even try to do your drug screen during a lunch period or before/after work) and work in a manner that will not cause your co-workers or Manager to question your effort. If anything, I recommend that you work even harder so that when you depart, you are leaving your position in the best situation possible.
• Don’t Expand Your Inner Circle: I don’t recommend you communicate your job search status beyond who you decided to when the process started. As things go well, it is very tempting to want to speak to more people in your desire to want to share the good news. This seems especially true when you are anxious to leave the organization due to some degree of dissatisfaction. If you felt it was important to limit those who are “in the know”, then you should not expand the circle when things look positive in your search. The more people who know, then the more likely that your “secret” will reach your Manager and those above him/her.
• Stay Positive: This can be especially difficult when you are a bit disgruntled about your current employer. It may be tempting to “trash” others knowing that there will not be any immediate repercussions because you will be leaving. Please keep in mind that it is a “small world” and people find themselves often reconnected after many years apart. • Leave Your Office Alone - If you have any work space, such as an office or cubicle, you will want to leave everything looking the same until you give notice and that news go public. You may be amazed to find out how closely people watch what others are doing. If you start removing personal items such as photos, radio, etc. from your workspace, it will likely be noticed and rumors will start.
• Keep Your Demeanor The Same: It is interesting, but in my experience, people who are close to leaving for another employer often start to behave differently. I have found people will often trend to two opposite ends of the spectrum. They will either become very chatty because they are so happy, or they will become withdrawn because they are either torn or feel guilty because of their pending departure. As difficult as it may be, you want to avoid having your emotions on your sleeve and you should behave as you normally do.
• Don’t Give Your Notice Yet: You may be relishing the opportunity to tell your boss you’re quitting your current job. This is especially true if you have a strained relationship with your supervisor or employer. Wait until you have accepted your offer AND have finished all post-offer testing (background and drug testing) to formally provide your resignation and notice time. Even if you are positive you will pass the exams, sometimes things happen with false results (that is why you can appeal testing results under the Fair Credit Reporting Act), so wait until everything comes in.
As you progress positively in your job search, it may be hard to control the “good vibes” that you feel. There are very few events that rival landing that dream job you have been pursuing. You, however, don’t want to face any issues with your current employer before you are ready to address with them your departure. So, the key is “business as usual” as you progress to accepting your offer and passing any employment related testing. At that point, you can break your silence and start emptying your office in anticipation of your departure.