You've polished your resume and written a great cover letter -- and your efforts have earned you an interview for a new job. While that is exciting news, you may be feeling stressed about having to ask for time off to attend the interview. Since you don't have the new job yet, do what you can to avoid having to share the big news until it's official -- you don't want your opportunity to jeopardize your current situation. Work within your company's policies to get the time off; if that doesn't work, talk to your boss about your interview.
Consider the options for flex time. You are not required to inform your boss that you are applying or interviewing for a job elsewhere, so doing so may be only a matter of courtesy. If you have flex time or personal days, take one on the day you have the interview. Unlike vacation days, you can typically take personal days at the drop of hat -- ostensibly to take care of sick children or to take an elderly parent to the doctor -- so don't worry about taking one with only a day or two notice.
Take a sick day. Hopefully, you're in good standing and haven't taken many sick days, so you can take one for the interview.
Schedule the interview for before or after work, so you don't have to bother with missing time at all. If you can't schedule the interview early and neither sick time nor personal time are available -- or your interview is going to take you out of town for a few days at a stretch -- your only option may be to talk to your boss.
Ask for a few minutes of the boss' time to meet in person. Schedule the meeting for a time of day when the boss is not overly stressed. If you know that the boss meets with the overbearing board of directors every Tuesday at 9 a.m., for example, don't ask for a meeting directly afterward.
Thank the boss for the opportunity to work with the company, and tell them a few things you like about working with them. If you're looking for another job, there's likely a list of things you don't like about the current job -- but now is not the time to focus on those. You don't have the new job yet, and you want the boss to know that you appreciate your current job and intend to maintain good relations with the company.
Tell the boss that you have another opportunity that you would like to explore, and provide the specific time and date that you are requesting off. In some cases, the will boss require you to use your vacation time to attend the interview. While he is likely not happy to hear your news, if you stay positive and show gratitude, he may understand your desire to move on. Do not specify how much more you'll be making at the other job or how much better the conditions will be there -- just provide the basic facts.
Thank the boss for his hard work and willingness to work with you to give you the time off.
- If you work in an office where everyone's time is monitored closely, ask your boss for a written note stating that you have been granted the time off. You can then show the note to your supervisor or other co-workers, if necessary.
- If you talk with your boss and he won't provide you the time off, talk with the prospective employer again and inform them of the situation. Ask for an interview time on your day off, or before or after work. Maintain a positive attitude about your current employer when you talk to the prospective one -- she, too, wants to see that you intend to maintain good relations with all sides.
Nicole Vulcan has been a journalist since 1997, covering parenting and fitness for The Oregonian, careers for CareerAddict, and travel, gardening and fitness for Black Hills Woman and other publications. Vulcan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Minnesota. She's also a lifelong athlete and is pursuing certification as a personal trainer.