If you’ve been looking to leave your company and it’s been feeling very “affair-like,” you’re not alone (though it can certainly feel that way.)
Leaving a job for greener pastures shouldn’t feel like a dirty secret. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a new opportunity, upward mobility, or even a change of pace. Whatever your reasons for craving a switch, they are valid and nothing to feel ashamed about.
What employers are thinking
Should openly looking for a job be allowed? Is it controlling to try to stop it? What repercussions does not allowing employees to openly look for jobs have on their performance, co-workers, and the company as a whole?
We checked and the results were shocking. Companies that encouraged employees to keep their job searches top-secret often experienced a rebound effect: employees became bitter and retaliated by opting out of their responsibilities – with little downside.
In short, they stopped trying.
So what’s a better approach?
A big shift is happening right now: companies are beginning to value honesty and transparency, knowing their success depends on it.
The new emphasis on company culture is notable.
And it works.
“While the job-hopping trend may be a difficult cycle to stop, there is a more useful, relevant, and less frustrating approach employers can implement that can not only decrease turnover but also lead to mutually beneficial solutions for both parties. Leaders need to make discussions about career transitions and job opportunities less taboo in the first place,” according to The Harvard Review.
One CEO, Justin Copie of Innovative Solutions, even went so far as to require his employees to interview with other companies, just to see if they liked it better there. He only wanted the people who wanted to be there to stay.
This is smart business, too. A great leader helps their employees leave their company if they want to – with no strings attached.
After all, great jobs are all about growth.
Not to mention that if employers knew what was causing people to explore new opportunities, they could try to think of solutions.
Even if this didn’t end up being the case, if you can’t give someone what they want, why not help them attain it?
Even if it’s for purely selfish reasons, it will reflect well on the company and management. Plus, knowing your employee is actively looking buys employers enough time to plan their next move, whereas “two week notice” just leaves them feeling fretful. This is especially true because it can take an average of eight months for new employees to reach sustainable levels of productivity, according to the Society for Human Resource Management.
Plus, it helps employers build trust with the rest of the team, who is staying. A win-win, if you will.
Leaving a job is hard. Change is hard. And if you can’t change the outcome anyway, why not have transparency?
But what about reality?
You might be thinking: could openly searching for a new job affect my chances of even being able to find a new job?
There is truth in that getting fired can hurt your chances of finding new employment. But while it’s accurate that employers prefer job candidates who are currently employed, the benefits might outweigh the drawbacks.
To decide what’s right for you, ask yourself these questions:
- Is one of my company’s values transparency? Has that been my experience here?
- What have I noticed from watching other employees that ended up leaving? How did they act? There might be a reason for that.
- What would my friend do if they were in my shoes and I took all the emotion out of this?