October 27, 2003
Last Revised: May 23, 2012 4:50 PM
"Looking there while working here" is sadly very common in our society today.
You "know" that you are worth $15 per hour, or $50 per hour, but the best job you can find pays $12 or $20 per hour. You need the pay, you can not find "what you are worth," so you take the lesser pay and "work here" while continuing to "look elsewhere."
The job is just a stopping point in your career.
Your career is a race, but sometimes a race is a "relay race" and you only move so far on one part of the total race.
It is dishonest! This is a practice that harms all concerned. The company that hired you has made a "contract" to pay a certain amount for certain work. The employer thinks he has a deal. The employee thinks he has a resting place, with pay, while he does the real work of looking for a better job.
In general this means that he has much less than all his attention on the job at hand. He gives half of himself, or even less.
If you even START a job with this expectation, you have lied to the boss from the start and will never make a success of it, either in this job or elsewhere.
In order to justify this act of looking elsewhere, while working here, the person will NEED to find fault with the present job, the pay, the people. He cannot admit his unethical behavior by revealing it, so he invents reasons for why he is looking. There is much, he finds, wrong about this place that make it reasonable for him to look elsewhere.
He'll make mistakes, not want to get caught looking elsewhere and so he apologizes and makes excuses.
What is often worse is that he then spreads his false criticism to others in the group, and makes them feel like they, too, are being cheated. This is such a harmful act that we, by firm Policy, indicate that it is a matter for immediate dismissal to be looking elsewhere, preparing to leave, and not tell the boss. This crime is more serious when you tell others, but not the boss.
The only honest thing to do, if you are dissatisfied with a job, is to TALK to the person who is your supervisor. If you have a change in your circumstances, and now a pay rate, or working conditions that had been honestly understood and agreed to (a contract) may no longer fit your personal circumstances, well talk about it to the boss. That can happen. The only honest thing to do is to tell the boss about your changed conditions.
If, on the other hand, the original agreement was clear and the working conditions and pay have not changed, but the only change is that someone has offered you a higher pay, or what you consider a better situation, you may be tempted to hide that offer, work until the new job is ready, and then leave. This is dishonest.
When an employee announces to the boss that he is quitting, that he has another job, you will know that he has been dishonest if he never told the boss that he was starting to look. While he was dishonest he will have needed to make his dishonesty "smaller" by finding fault. Finding fault, he will often then feel justified with stealing or cheating on the job. This is a vicious cycle of never-ending decline in morality.
It is not rare, but it is dishonest.
On the other side, an honest and hard-working employee has a right to know how well the boss thinks he is doing. If he doesn't hear that regularly, he must ask. In a well-run organization this evaluation should never rest on the personal opinion of a boss, but on the cold hard facts of a statistic. It is always fair to ask about a higher rate of pay and the boss needs to be ready to hear those requests and show the person what it would take to receive that higher pay.
Generally everyone in the Company can watch the weekly sales statistics. If those statistics are flat, not regularly increasing, then pay raises cannot be expected. If the sales are increasing, regularly, you should expect to see new staff being hired, promotions made, and pay raises granted to those who have caused the sales increase.
Every staff member must have some statistic that is HIS or HERS. That statistic, honestly compiled, and properly designed, IS the measure of the contribution of a staff member.
Company sales is a good statistic, and applies to everyone, but each person should also have a personal statistic -- some part of the production of the group that he can be personally responsible for, and which measures his contribution.
There is no intention here to force people to work here who don't want to work here. But, there is an expectation that you will "look elsewhere" only when you are not working here.
If this shoe fits, wear it and tell your boss.
This Company moves ahead, and serves the public, because of the good guys here. The good guys don't need to hear false criticisms of their Company that are CAUSED by someone having to justify his "looking there while working here."