How happy are you at your current position? Are you just considering leaving, or do you already have one foot out the door?
You might be surprised to learn that you are showing signs of your discontent to your employer. A savvy manager will pick up on these signs and start a conversation with you to find out what they can do to keep you. Regardless, if you’re set on leaving, watch out for these behaviors that might give away your plans before you are ready to announce them formally. (And if you are not planning on leaving, these behaviors might be giving them the wrong idea.)
1. Being late or absent more often
Tardiness and absenteeism are the most obvious signs that you are not as engaged as you once were. Employees have every reason to want to be present and on time, so people take note when something is off. If you don’t care to show up on time (or at all), you’ll likely get fired before you have a chance to leave on your own terms. At the very least you’ll receive a pointed discussion about it.
Try to maintain your level of engagement, even if you are looking for a new position. If you need time off for interviews, try to schedule them on one day or over your lunch break when possible. The less you interfere with your schedule, the less reason you’re giving your boss to worry.
2. Holding back in meetings and discussions
When you bow out of a conversation that you would normally be passionate about (or at least take part in), it sends up a red flag. Employees who engage in brainstorming and problem solving are seen as more connected to their jobs. It’s also noticeable if you stop asking questions or seeking clarification.
This extends beyond physical or virtual meetings. If you’re not taking part in email discussions or responding promptly, it will be assumed that you are off doing something else that you deem more important. Make sure that you stay on top of your workload even when you are considering leaving.
3. Changes in dress formality
If you always wear business casual clothes but show up one day in a formal suit, you can assume that everyone in the office thinks you’re going on a job interview. If you do have interviews, try to change before you arrive or after you leave the office.
4. Hiding your online activities
In an open floor plan, it’s pretty hard to hide what’s on your screen when someone walks near your desk. But if you are using company resources to find a new job (which you shouldn’t!), you might feel the need to hide what you’re doing. If you are finding excuses to take your laptop to the conference room for privacy, it’s suspicious.
You should never work on finding a new job while on company time or with company resources. Make sure you are working on your job search after hours and on weekends using your own internet and computer.