44

I've made it a practice to try to garner one interview a year to keep up those skills and also to see if my current position is paying me what the industry thinks I'm worth. So far it has and I'm quite happy in my position. I don't tell my employer this for what I think are obvious reasons. I do struggle with the morality of it because I do take some time for the interviews but often I take a vacation day for them. Also understandably they do distract me a bit from my job since they sometimes open up different technologies that I haven't practiced for a bit or just haven't done.

[EDIT] They gave me an offer I couldn't refuse. Funny, when I told me current employer about it all this praise about my work came pouring out. They told me they were planning a promotion this year. Thanks to all who replied.

158 accepted

Would your employer hesitate to lay you off if the business took a down turn? The business does what it needs to do to survive and so should you.

47

Absolutely NOT. I'd consider it reckless to leave a job before having a new one secured. Your vacation time is yours to do what you want with. If that is looking for a new job, so be it.

25

If you have zero intention on taking the job, then it may be wrong from the view of the company you are interviewing. From the view of the company currently employing you, this should be acceptable since you are doing this on your own time and it does help your performance in a way, e.g. if you know you are in a good place you may work harder than a place where passion is sucked out of your still beating heart as the environment lacks all emotions.

17

For the past few years, I've more often been the interviewer rather than the interviewee, and I have to say that I get very frustrated by the number of people who interview with me who have no intention of taking the job. An interview can easily eat up several hours of my time, even if the interview itself is only an hour or two. If I knew the interviewee had no intention of taking the job, I definitely wouldn't have called him/her in.

Even more aggravating are the interviewees who are hoping to use my interest in him/her as leverage for more money at his/her existing company. I'm not a pawn in your little game!

That said, from the flip side of the desk, interviewing is a skill that needs to be practiced from time to time or you get rusty, so if you like to do it, go for it. Just please be considerate of the poor slob on the other side of the desk and his/her time.

15

If you're doing the interviews in your own time (i.e. holiday), then that's fine.

13

What's your motivation for interviewing? To get a new job? Then yes.

Otherwise, why waste the vacation day? If you don't think you are getting paid enough - ask for the raise, but have some data to back it up.

I personally don't want to waste some company's time interviewing with them when I don't have any real plan to go to work there. I wouldn't want someone doing that at my shop.

In practice, I know folks do this to get offer letters to push the current company to cough up some more cash, but I'm not a big fan of it.

Just my two cents.

7

As long as you don't do the prep work on your current employer's time and you are not lying to your employer about the time off (i.e. using sick time), then I can't see any problem at all with it. Of course if your empolyment community is small you may have to deal with fallout if your current employer finds out and cares.

4

Of course it's not wrong! You'd be fairly irresponsible if you quit every job you had without having another one lined up.

4

If you go to an interview and realise that your skills are not up to scratch, chances are you will go away and brush up on those skills. If the interview is for a role similar to your current role then you current employer gets a better employee.

If you find that a better opportunity exists and you take it, chances are you will become a better developer in your new role and the industry gets a better employee

The theme here is self-improvement and that, can only be a good thing

4

Who Moved My Cheese provides an excellent discussion of the subject. It suggests always being on the lookout for new 'cheese' because you never know if your current 'cheese' will begin to get stale, or disappear completely.

Amazon review:

Who Moved My Cheese? is a parable that takes place in a maze. Four beings live in that maze: Sniff and Scurry are mice--nonanalytical and nonjudgmental, they just want cheese and are willing to do whatever it takes to get it. Hem and Haw are "littlepeople," mouse-size humans who have an entirely different relationship with cheese. It's not just sustenance to them; it's their self-image. Their lives and belief systems are built around the cheese they've found. Most of us reading the story will see the cheese as something related to our livelihoods--our jobs, our career paths, the industries we work in--although it can stand for anything, from health to relationships. The point of the story is that we have to be alert to changes in the cheese, and be prepared to go running off in search of new sources of cheese when the cheese we have runs out.

4

My wife used to be a recruiter, and had what you are asking happen to her several times. She would spend hours screening resumes, doing phone interviews, presenting the candidate to employers, and generally making things happen. She was always very careful to align the candidate and potential employer, making sure they were a good fit (not always easy to do). So then, the employer would get excited about a particular candidate and make an offer, which my wife would relay to the candidate. Too many times, she heard, "Oh, no thanks. I was just practicing my interviewing skills." Hours were spent (and lost) on somebody who was, more or less, abusing the good will of the recruiter and employer.

I guess it's like going to a car dealership every weekend and spending two hours test-driving cars. When the salesman tries to work out a deal, you just say, "No thanks, I just like new car smell," and leave. That salesman is on commission, and you just wasted a quarter of his day when he could be dealing with a serious buyer.

Not to get into the question of whether it's fair to your employer, you are wasting the valuable time of both the recruiter (if there is one; there usually is) and the potential employer. Not only is that not nice, but you have burned two more bridges. The recruiters all have databases of candidates, and they keep notes.

On the other hand, if you want a recruiter to really work for you, I have found the following phrase to work magic, "I am serious about my job search, and if I find the right job, I'll accept it." Just like everybody else, recruiters like to work with people they know won't waste their time.

3

In the United States, you should absolutely not feel any remorse for interviewing! Most places will not protect your job in the event of a down turn in the economy etc. If they need to lay you off, they will do so to protect the company. Loylaty should not be something that factors in to working at a job.

That being said. A company which has a large number of people (especially in technology) who don't change jobs on occasion will begin to see a lack of new thinking and ideas. Really an ideal company should encorage people to look around in the market place to see if they are a still a good fit for the organization. If not, those people should find employment elsewhere. I don't want to sound like we are cogs in a machine, but the reality is that people who leave a job can be replaced, maybe with someone who has a fresh outlook on the current problems at hand.

3

I think that there's absolutely nothing wrong with going to interviews at other companies if you're currently employed. You should be allowed to explore the options available to you.

Also, your vacation time is your time to use as you see fit. So, I wouldn't feel guilty about that.

As long as it doesn't effect your ability to do your job, I say it's fair game.

2

I think you owe it to yourself to do this to both see what skills you might be missing and to also keep your resume and interview skills current. It also helps to gauge the current interest you can garner to give yourself peace of mind.

As long as your not taking the companies time by using vacation then it is really your time and you can do what you want with it.

They may not like it but it may also be you will find that your current position is the best one for you. That is information you can't get without looking for it.

1

Go for it, that sounds like an excellent exercise. Especially if you don't do it on company time, then it's guilt free!

1

I wouldn't worry about whatever is troubling you about your current employer, whether it's "being disloyal" (in the current economy, there is no such thing) or whatever, as long as you are still giving them the time and attention they are paying your for - if you do the prep on your own time and take vacation or TOIL (Time Off In Lieu) for the interview, it's none of their business. However, I would worry about wasting the interviewer's time. If you have no intention of considering the other job, no matter how good it is, I think that's not very fair to them. If you're willing to give them a shot, and if you like them and they like you you'd be willing to take it, then by all means go.

1
  • I am interested in doing as best of a job as possible.
  • I want the most opportunity possible.
  • I care about being paid fairly, but not exorbitantly.
  • I care about being challenged, but not being over worked without fair compensation.
  • I care about my craft.

If you find interviewing helps you with any one of those things. It is worth it. Your employer has no right to know if you decide to interview for these reasons. If your conscience would be eased by telling him/her and they would not react then tell them, politely and plainly, that you have been doing it for years.

I do see it as a waste of time for the person interviewing you. To avoid this I would be upfront with them that I am interviewing just to see my options and they should use the interview to their advantage. Whether it be refine their interviewing process, or try out new questions, or something else.

1

I think it would be an odd thing not to do.

If you're not giving any trade secrets away, wasting your actual working hours, or actively attempting to sabotage your current employer, then you're not doing any harm. You're taking your own vacation days, which can be spent how you want.

Personally, if I were your employer I'd want to know that my employees are smart enough to keep an ear to the ground.

Though I'd also somewhat agree with what Jin Kim said - be sure that you're not burning bridges with these prospects, or leading them on. Some industries can be smaller than you think, and there's always somebody that knows somebody.

1

Companies HR departments do a lot of research to determine what you are paid and report to the finance department if there is cheaper labor elsewhere. I hear ROI everywhere. So I take the same view in a competitive market. An interview is my way of learning what is needed to keep sharp and marketable. If the company I interview with really wants me then they can bid. It's also a excellent way to keep ones parachute packed. If you do get an offer I would not wave it under your current manager's nose though.

1

It's perfectly ok to go on interviews while you're employed. Furthermore, you should update your resume regularly (right after completing a project is best, since the details will be fresh) so you'll always be prepared. This is especially important during tough economic times for the reasons Mark Brady mentioned.

As long as you aren't using company time or resources to do anything related to your job search, there isn't anything immoral about what you're doing.

In addition to regular resume updates, make sure any public profiles you've got on Facebook, LinkedIn, etc are displaying the information you're ok with people seeing. Smart employers will at least google everyone they interview, so if there's something inappropriate in your profile, that works against you.

1

Nothing wrong in being opportunistic - it helps to grow.

1

Absolutely interview with other companies. I'd highly recommend Fire Your Boss, which is a little cynical, but provides a very useful lens for viewing your role in corporate life. It advocates continued interviewing, not only to ensure you are being appropriately compensated, but also to ensure you have coverage if you ever need it, particularly in these 'difficult' economic times.

0

I agree with James, but the old Germans said that "If I get a new job I will update my CV immediately" they updated their CV's for new job offerings.

0

I think it would depend on the job market. If I work in an industry where there are a limited number of qualified employers, I wouldn't want to blow my opportunity at each prospect unless I was seriously open to the possibility of switching. I imagine an employee would be less enthusiastic about hiring me the second time around.

0

I not only think it fine to go to interviews, I'll let my supervisor's (and anyone else who wants to know) know. Why not?

If your good at your job, then they will want to keep you on, it could mean a pay rise etc. and if they (your current employer) think your not then there are hardly going to be bothered about you wanting to leave.

0

NEVER think about employes helth and goodnes unless you are one of those lucky 0.00001% bastards that actually have aweseome and cool employes.

They don't think about you, thats for sure.

-2

For me, I used to make interviews at least once a month, it makes you in shape all the time, even if you are not looking for a job, actually specially when you are not looking for a job, this gives you a very good position when you are interviewing, it is like playing poker with somebodies else money, you don't really care if this salary negotiation will work or not, you don't really care, and here is when you find the best opportunities.

One more thing, interviewing is just another muscle in your body, exercising it will make you better job hunter, and you will know what know what makes a good interview and what makes a bad one.

just be honest, and mention that you are currently satisfied with you current employer, and you are making interview for the sake of better offer or a higher position (it is not bad to be ambitious)