Work and The World

Do I tell my workplace that I am looking for work? And other tricky workplace dilemmas.

Today we are talking about some of the tricky workplace dilemmas that we face within the workplace.  Here is the Careerability take on four of them……

Do I tell my workplace that I am looking for other work?

This is a truly tricky workplace dilemma only if you have a relatively good working relationship with your manager and your workplace.  If you are keen to keep all bridges intact, then I tend to stick with honesty is the best policy.  I tend to raise the issue when interviews are involved, particularly if I want my boss to be my referee.  If I don’t want my boss to be my referee then I would usually raise the matter if my referees have been contacted.  I don’t raise the alarm because I did a quick check on Seek over the weekend.

I have always tried to treat my co-workers and managers with the respect that I would want to be treated with.  The more notice that you give, the better they are able to prepare for your departure.  But be warned, in preparing them, they will start to prepare.

If you are looking for other work because you are truly miserable then maybe you won’t feel comfortable in letting anyone know, and that is OK.

Do I have to put my Manager down as my referee?

Another tricky  workplace dilemma.  But one that I think is easy to get around.  It is a giant red flag to any recruiter worth their salts if you have no previous Managers down as a referee.  While it is great to have your current Manager down as your referee, it is generally acceptable to have your next most recent.  Most recruiters will understand that it might not be practical to have your current Manager down.

Consider the suitability of referees for the job.  One of my personal mentors had worked internationally for many years and wanted to have some local referees.  She used a mixture of International Managers then added local staff and colleagues.  Her new workplace actually liked being able to do a reference check with someone that had worked for her, in addition to those she had worked for.

Reference checking in some organisations is getting very sophisticated, with some orgs now doing forensic reference checks.  So if you are tempted to do the dodgy (say getting your partner to pretend that they are your boss), just be aware that you might get caught out.

Do I have to follow the corporate dress code?

Are you an individual?  Do you feel you need to express the inner you with what is on the outer you?  Is what you wear to work a tricky dilemma?  Look, I’m not about to tell you what you can or can’t wear.   But I can tell you that it is generally considered OK for organisations to set a dress code.  And the organisation is OK to enforce it, as long as it is not discriminatory.

Now the discriminatory bit might be a tricky dilemma for you, but it is generally simple.  If the dress code discriminates on the basis of race, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status.  So if there is a compulsory uniform that a pregnant female employee is unable to wear, that might be an example of a code that amounts to discrimination.  For more from the human rights commission you can read here.

The bad news is, a corporate dress code will not be waived for your preference to dress as a 1970’s punk rocker.  Also, know what you should do for casual Friday.  I have discussed this here in workplace mistakes you should avoid.  The workplace is within its rights to set a dress expectation and if you fail to meet it, you could find yourself looking for another job.

Do I have to go to the Office Christmas Party?

Yes and No.  If you are not of a faith that celebrates Christmas then you should discuss the matter with your Manager.  I would not imagine that you would be expected to attend.  However, if it is an end of year breakup or celebration then it could be compulsory, if it’s in work time.

There is no such thing as a compulsory out of hour’s event, unless the organisation is willing to pay you overtime (I bet that they aren’t).  So, if it is a Thursday night before Christmas drinks and dinner then it’s up to you.  As a chronic introvert, I dread these types of events, but in most workplaces they are few and far between, so bearable.

The HR wowser in me needs to mention that any work function is considered the workplace from a bullying and harassment perspective.  After a few drinks it might feel like it’s OK to tell Jonno from accounts that he has a hot *insert whatever goes here*, but be warned that could lead you down an ugly path with HR the next morning.  Just in case you want to know more about how workplaces are dealing with these issues, here is an example of an email that the legal community suggest sending out to staff prior to a Christmas Party.  Email to staff 

Do you have a tricky workplace dilemma?

Do you have a tricky workplace dilemma?  If you do, I would love to know about it.  Maybe the Careerability community can help you out?  Pop over to our FB page or leave a comment here.  Let me know if you want more tricky workplace dilemma’s on Careerabilty.

Photo by Emily Morter on Unsplash

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