When You Should Tell Your Boss That You're Looking For A Job

Steve Monte

"I’ve accepted a position at another company."

For most people, that’s the first moment their boss learns they’ve been looking for a job. But just because this is how things normally go doesn’t mean it’s the best approach. In many situations, telling your supervisor that you’re job-hunting—rather than trying your utmost to hide it—might actually be the wiser move. Here's why, and how to have that conversation if you choose to.

Risks And Benefits

As a career coach, I've seen plenty of top-performing professionals talk candidly with their bosses about changing jobs and walk away happy. But I encourage others to proceed with caution. Of course, if your boss is less than satisfied with your work or has proved unsupportive of your career goals in the past, it might be best to keep quiet. Doing otherwise could strain your relationship or even cost you your job.

But for those who are fortunate to have an open, supportive relationship with their manager, mentioning that you're considering new options has its upsides. It can help you identify your greatest strengths as a professional, gain some insight into your future prospects at your current company, and open the door for a great recommendation from your boss.

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