Should You Tell Your Employer You’re Looking for Work?


Searching for a new job when you are currently employed comes with some challenges. Not only do you have to juggle your professional and personal obligations with your job search, you also have to decide whether you should clue your manager in on the matter.

Wondering whether telling your employer you are looking for work is a good idea is completely normal, especially if your relationship with your boss is strong, supportive and positive overall. Similarly, if you believe your manager would be an excellent reference, you may think that letting them know about your job search makes it easier to include them on your reference list.

However, even if your relationship with your manager is stellar, you still need to be cautious about letting them know about your job search. If you are wondering why, here’s what you need to know.

Telling Your Boss Is Always Risky

For many managers, learning a member of your staff is looking for an opportunity to leave is upsetting. If the employee is a top performer or in a critical role, it can also increase your manager’s stress levels.

Even if you have a good relationship with your boss, they probably won’t be thrilled you are seeking a new job. As a result, the situation can become unpredictable very quickly.

For example, if your employer needs to make cuts, you may suddenly be a target. After all, the company knows you don’t plan on sticking around for the long-term, so putting you on the chopping block makes sense.

In some cases, employers terminate workers who say that they are looking for jobs elsewhere. Whether it happens immediately or if they find someone who can replace you first, you could find yourself out of that role faster than you planned.

Essentially, telling your employer you’re looking for a new job means putting yourself at risk. Since you can’t guarantee how long it will take for you to secure a new position, it typically isn’t wise to inform anyone at your workplace about your intentions.

Using Your Boss as a Professional Reference

If your primary reason for telling your employer in advance is to make it easier to use your manager as a reference, you’re in luck. There is another approach that can work well and achieves the same end goal.

When you meet with a hiring manager about a job opportunity, most will understand using your boss as a reference puts you in a bad position. Usually, they are willing to be flexible, even if they would like to hear from your boss if you are selected.

As you prepare your list of references, let the hiring manager know you would only like them to contact your manager once you have a job offer. Then, if they aren’t happy with what they hear, they can rescind it based on that information.

In the end, this option ensures you have a contingent offer before your current employer is clued in, which can provide you with a level of security during your search.

If you’d like to know more or are looking for work, the professionals at The Advance Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our experienced recruiters today and see how our job search expertise can benefit you and your search for open jobs.






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