Should I Shop Around for New Jobs?

Dear Cubicle Coach: I've been getting calls lately from competitors about job openings. Should I take the meetings even if I'm not really interested? If the boss finds out, will she be angry, or will it send a signal that my talents are in demand?

Dear Wanted: Interviewing for jobs you're not gunning for can be great for practicing your technique and gleaning where you stand dollar-wise, so when the right thing does come along, you're honed and ready. As regards the boss finding out, you only want to be caught sleeping with the enemy if it will get you something on the back end--a raise, a promotion, a certain uneasiness in the higher-up's stomach as she contemplates losing a superstar like you. Ideally, you know her well enough to anticipate her reaction. Based on that, decide whether showing up in your sharpest Ann Taylor pantsuit on Hawaiian Shirt Day is worth the grief. Regardless, should she see you in that suit every other week, she may decide you (and your disloyalty) are no fun to have around. If you do get busted, justify the maneuver as counterintelligence work--explain that you were sneaking into enemy territory like Jennifer Garner in Alias, sans wigs, bustiers, and indecipherable plotlines.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Career
Share
Young, Black, and Female in the All-White Sport of Fencing
Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani
Career
Share
Reshma Saujani Wants to Fix the Tech "Bravery Deficit" in Girls
Career
Share
The GE Executive Pulling Women Up the Ladder with Her
Created for GE
Career
Share
Are You a Female Doctor? You're Probably Getting Paid Less Than Your Male Coworkers
Career
Share
Gretchen Carlson's Lawyer Opens Up About Her Case, Sexual Harassment at Fox News, and Taking on the Most Powerful Man in Media
Career
Share
You're Better at Negotiating Than You Think You Are
Career
Share
The Surprising Connections Between Swimming with Sharks and Talking to Famous People
Career
Share
That Time I Stopped Explaining Myself—and Then Got Everything I Wanted
Career
Share
How I Started a Mega-Successful Company at 26—Without a Business Plan
Career
Share
The Power of Sorry: The New CEO of Lands' End Explains the Lessons She's Learned While Rising to the Top