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As the question states. I have a month to month contract, which is non-binding in its current state. I can basically leave the job any time I want to, but this requires me actually wanting to try to find a job to apply for. Does this allow me to go on interviews in the meantime?

If they ever extend my contract full time, would it be ok to take some time off to go on other job interviews for other opportunities before accepting the full time contract? My current hours are 9-5 and not really flexible for job interviews even in the city I am working in let alone travelling elsewhere to other job opportunities like California or NYC. Would my current workplace see this as me not really wanting to work there?

That would be strange because my boss keeps on hinting that I am always free to look for other opportunities, but I don't want to hurt my chances of getting the full time job!.

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Since you are on contract, you probably don't have paid time off like sick or vacation time.

In either case, the assumption is that you aren't interviewing for a new job during hours when the current job is paying you for work you are supposed to be doing.

Options while contracting

Unless you have a nice deal that gives you vacation or sick time, basically the only way is to take unpaid time off. If you are on a strict schedule, notify your boss that you won't be able to come into work on a given day. If s/he asks why (it's really none of his/her business), the right way to do it is to say you need to take care of some things that you can only handle during business hours. Lying works, too, but is never the best policy.

If your hours are flexible, just tell your boss you will be coming in late/early on the day of your interview, and make the time up later in the week. This option is a lot easier since you don't need to take unpaid time off.

Options while salaried with Paid Time Off

The best choice is to use vacation time to "take a personal day". That's all the explanation you should need to give. If you have flexible hours, you could also tell the boss you will be in late/early, and then make up the time later.

If you have a job that lumps sick and vacation time into a PTO bucket, the point is moot. Obviously, taking sick time to interview sets you up to lie, so it's not preferred.

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  • Thanks for these suggestions. I will certainly use these if my position changes. I can tell you that I already did use the "I will be coming in late today" excuse when I locked myself out of my room one day, so I'm sure that will work if I have an interview in Boston depending on when it is... – jjf3 Apr 23 '14 at 18:04
  • I will try to schedule interviews outside the City like in NY, TX, or CA on a Weekend, since they are futher away. NYC is easiest. though I'm not sure how common this will be... – jjf3 Apr 23 '14 at 18:05
  • As per your paid time off scenario, I do not get paid time off or any vacation days since I am not a full time employee – jjf3 Apr 23 '14 at 18:06
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Is it OK to go on interview ... ?

Well, that's how the world works, so yes.

People manage to stealthily go on interviews all the time. "Oh no, I've got the flu!", "Allergy season again, I'm not feeling well", "Great Aunt Betty died so I need to be out for 3 days to get to the funeral in LA." etc are fairly common excuses.

That said, any manager with decent experience knows that a "sick" employee is just as likely to be interviewing as eating chicken soup. At the same time, managers know that people will come and go so it's usually not a big deal.

You appear to be in the US. A number of states are "Right to Work" states which essentially says that you can leave at any time for any reason, just like they can fire you at any time for any non-EEOC reason. Contracts forcing a person to stay at a specific job aren't enforceable for a whole host of reasons (talk to your lawyer about yours); the appearance of being an indentured servant being one of them.

Now, there might be some penalty if they gave you something extra (the job itself usually doesn't count) like a big signing bonus or specific training that you accepted while agreeing to stay for a minimum term. But, again, they can't stop you from leaving, it's just that you might have to pay back that bonus.

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  • No I didn't get any bonus or anything like that. I just have a basic paycheck come to me every two weeks. I just never know what to do in the workplace, because it always seems to end up biting me in the back. I am US based in Boston. – jjf3 Apr 23 '14 at 15:50
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    I'd give an upvote, except for the assumption that most people lie and use sick time and bereavement in order to get the time off, and that is appropriate. In some employment situations, it may be the only way, but using a vacation day is better, if at all possible. – thursdaysgeek Apr 23 '14 at 16:16
  • @thursdaysgeek: I never said most people lie. I don't know most people so I couldn't really vouch for a great part of humanity. However, among the people I know and/or have had quit on me, those "excuses" are fairly common... That said, I do agree that using a vacation day is certainly the most ethical way of doing it. – NotMe Apr 24 '14 at 21:55
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Yes, absolutely. As a contractor, it is expected that your current position will come to an end, and that you will need to arrange for a new position. Rather than try to do this covertly, simply inform your current employer that you need to take the time off for an interview. They will in all likelihood figure it out anyway. If they want you to stay in the job, they already know that they have to be competitive with their job offering. Try to make sure that your absence won't unduly inconvenience your current employer.

Frankly, the only employer who has any right or expectation that you will not go on interviews is one that has offered you literally a perfect job with 100% guarantee of job satisfaction and has placed your entire lifetime's worth of salary in an irrevocable trust. As no such jobs exist as far as I'm aware, you should not feel guilt about interviewing.

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Of course you should go to interviews. All the more so as you have a temporary position.

It's perfectly natural to have appointments and other personal business that will take you out of the office at times.

I usually advise people to take an interview every few months even if they're completely content in their position. It keeps them sharp and aware of how things are changing.

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  • this doesn't seem to offer anything substantial over what was posted in prior answers – gnat Apr 24 '14 at 12:19
  • If it's one thing that I like more than a downmod, it's a weak explanation for the downmod. Thanks, pal. – iag Apr 24 '14 at 13:22
  • Thank you for your suggestion. I think I will do that! I am currently in the process of setting up another interview and I also have a question about this that I will ask on here soon. – jjf3 May 1 '14 at 16:05

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