I'm a "database reporting analyst" and what I mostly do is build pre-made reports (specified by key people in the business such as Directors) and create "one off" reports when they are needed for a specific purpose, like when someone is going into a meeting and needs some particular figures to help make a business decision. These reports and other figures are created using a data warehouse which gets fed from our operational business systems (production, sales ledger, forecast, quarterly target etc).
The company manufactures "widgets" and also sells services associated with the "widgets" (e.g. technical specialists go out to customer sites and help them get the best out of the 'widget' they've bought by giving consultancy services).
Through my job I have access to what you could call "privileged" information. I report on numbers about sales / profitability / projected headcount needed in order to manufacture the number of 'widgets' we expect to sell next quarter, etc.
As it happens, the company isn't doing very well. (I've got a good idea of some of the reasons but I don't think they matter to the question so I'll leave them out here). There is a vague sense among people that we don't seem to be carrying out as many large client engagements as we were last year (for example) and a few articles in the trade press about a decline in the 'widget' industry - but most of these people don't have access to any concrete numbers to back that up.
I do have access to the numbers and I'm considering my future with this company and whether it would be better to start looking for a job in a more stable company. (That's a matter of opinion of course so I'm not asking what I should do about that.)
(Edited to add: it isn't just a case of "technical reasons" that they don't have access -- no computer needed for their job so they don't have access to our system, or whatever. If asked for those reports/numbers by someone non-authorised I wouldn't be able to share them.)
Also some of the information I'm asked for could be general clues e.g. I've been asked for profitability figures for several 'variants' of a particular widget and inferred from the context that the company may be considering "killing off" a couple of the unprofitable products.
Question: is it ethical to use the information that I have access to as part of my role, to think about whether I should be looking for another job? How can I avoid the appearance of doing something 'improper' if I do decide to move on?
Notes: It's a privately owned company, so there is no concept of insider trading, leaking information before it becomes public, etc. It should go without saying but I have no intention of "blabbing" confidential info to others - but also I can't "unsee" numbers I have actually seen.