If your boss catches you job seeking, then this can create quite a tricky situation. This is especially true if you get caught using job search engines, or trying to find a job while you are at work, and are supposed to be focusing on your current job!

But, to be honest, if you find yourself thinking “I hate my job,” or are constantly daydreaming about a career change, then it is probably a very good thing that you have started searching for another job. Here are some great tips for what to do if your boss catches you job seeking.


Don’t panic

Your first instinct after being caught job seeking by your boss may be to flee the scene by running out of the room, kicking open the exit door of your building, and sprinting away as fast as you can! However, to handle this situation effectively you need to stay calm. So take a deep breath or two as you compose yourself, and begin to prepare your defense.

portrait of a panicked businessman sitting at the office

Provide a simple, clear, and straightforward explanation

For example, you can say something like “I’m just seeing what else is out there.” Or you can say “I am worried about my job security at this company.” Providing a very brief and clear explanation can help prevent the situation from getting more uncomfortable and emotional. It just gets straight to the point, minimizing drama.


Be honest

If your boss has caught you red-handed, then trying to lie about what you were doing is not going to be very helpful. It can be pretty hard to deny what you were doing if your boss caught you making copies of your resume, getting reference letters, or job hunting online with a job site!

the employee is explaining to her boss why she is job seeking

Take advantage of the opportunity

If you are conducting a job search, and are looking for more progressive careers, then something is obviously wrong with your current job. Perhaps your boss catching you looking for another job is the perfect opportunity to discuss the issues you are having with your current position. So, you can use this discussion to bring up the low pay, the lack of responsibility, the fact that your parking space is too far away, or whatever else has been troubling you!


Getting caught job searching by your boss is always going to be awkward and uncomfortable. However, if you follow these tips, you might be able to get out of the situation unscathed. You may even be able to turn the situation into a positive experience!