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Q&A: Finding a Job

Q&A: Finding a Job

Questions and answers on finding a job.

By Peter Vogt

December 03, 2012

I just started my first real job two weeks ago. I was unemployed and temping for months and settled for this boring administrative job. Yesterday, someone called from a company who I’d sent my resume to a month ago regarding my dream job, and they want to set up an interview. Now I can’t decide whether I should take a chance and interview for it, given the fact that I just started a new job. Am I obligated to not interview for other jobs? Is it unethical? I would feel bad for my current company if I got the job and accepted it, but I don’t want to turn down this exciting opportunity.

Answer:
Go and interview for the job, especially if it’s one you feel so passionate about and that would be a better fit for you.

Obviously your current employer would be disappointed to know that you went on an interview for another job, and he/she would likely be even more disappointed if you were offered the other job and you took it. But disappointing someone isn’t really the same as doing something unethical.

However, be sure to minimize the amount of time you’ll miss from your current job — and don’t use ANY work time or equipment (e.g., the company Internet connection) to prepare for your interview at the other company.

Also, tread carefully at the interview if you’re asked about what you’re doing now. If the interviewer at the new company finds out you’ve only been working at your current company for a few weeks, how can he/she be sure you’ll stay with their company for the long haul?

I’m interested in working in sales, and one of my friends said I need to start networking. How do I network when I don’t have a single connection?

Answer:
Your friend who suggested you start networking is right. However, don’t make networking into a bigger, more mysterious thing than it really is. Networking is just talking to people, starting with the people you already know well and going from there.

While you may believe you “do not have a single connection,” you actually do. Your friends are networking connections. Do any of them know people who work in sales? If so, ask these friends to refer you to those people — and then try to set up informational interviews with them to get their advice on breaking into the field.

Your family members, old professors and acquaintances can be good networking contacts too. Also, a career counselor at your old school might be able to connect you with alumni who work in your field. Additionally, you might want to join a local professional organization to meet industry professionals who could have job leads.

After six months temping and looking for a permanent job, I recently accepted a position. The only problem is that the salary is way below what I was hoping to earn. However, they pointed out the potential for raises and advancement, and they seemed to genuinely want me, not anyone else in the position. So I’m taking this job but still plan to look elsewhere and interview if needed. Is this ethical? Should I not take the job if I cannot make a firm commitment for a long time, or do I have the right to keep looking?

Answer:
I don’t know that you’re compromising your ethics by taking this job, especially since you already had a discussion about your salary concerns with your supervisor.

You MAY be taking a risk, though, if you continue interviewing for other jobs and your boss or colleagues find out about it and don’t like it.

You need to be a little careful in this particular situation. For example, if you use your new company’s resources to look for another job, well, then you are starting to go down unethical road — and, perhaps worse, you’re setting yourself up to get fired if someone catches you and doesn’t like what he/she sees.

So look for a new job if you must, but be smart and look for it after hours and on weekends — i.e., on your own time and using your own resources, not your company’s.


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