When you are currently employed, managing a job search comes with additional complexities. Along with having to juggle your work responsibilities, home life, and a job search, you are also faced with questions other job seekers may not have to consider.
As a working professional, it is common to wonder if telling your boss you are looking for new opportunities is the right move. This is especially true if you have a strong and positive relationship with your manager, which may lead you to believe they would be supportive of your efforts. Similarly, if you think your boss would make a great reference, you may be tempted to clue them in so you can list their contact information.
However, it is important to handle this situation with care. If you are trying to decide whether you should tell your boss you’re looking for work, here’s what you need to know.
Telling Your Boss Is Risky, Period
Finding out a member of your team is looking for new opportunities is often upsetting, particularly if that worker is a top performer or critical to core operations. If you do tell your boss, they likely won’t be happy with your decision, and that can make the situation somewhat unpredictable.
Plus, you have essentially informed your manager directly that you do not intend to stay much longer. This can make you the first one on the chopping block if staff reductions are necessary, as your loyalty to the organization is clearly in question.
In some cases, a company may even terminate your employment once they learn you are looking for a new job. This is especially true if they manage to find a suitable replacement before you have actually secured a new position, as they often would rather invest in a professional with long-term potential than an employee with one foot out the door.
Using Your Boss as a Reference
If your primary reason for wanting to tell your manager about your job search is because you wanted to include them as a reference, you will be happy to hear that there is an alternative approach that accomplishes the same goal. When you prepare to provide references to your prospective employer, let them know you are only comfortable with your boss being contacted once there is an offer on the table.
Many hiring managers understand that notifying your boss about your job search too early in the process puts you in a precarious position. As a result, they are often willing to be flexible on the matter. They may be open to extending an initial offer with a contingency that they then be able to obtain a positive reference from your boss. If you are confident your manager would have good things to say, this can be a suitable alternative approach.
Ultimately, it is almost always best to avoid telling your boss about your job search until you have a formal offer on the table. Otherwise, you could find yourself unemployed before you have a chance to land something new.
If you would like to learn more about how to manage a job search while you are currently employed, the staff at TempStaff can help. Contact us to speak with one of our skilled recruiters today and see how our job search expertise can benefit you.