Job Search Tips Professional Development

Is it Ever Okay to Tell Your Boss You’re Looking for a New Job?

Written by Jessie Liu

It can be tricky when you’re job hunting and trying to keep it a secret from your boss and fellow employees. You might have to resort to fake doctor appointments or a family emergency to get time off for interviews. In another roadblock, your current job can prevent you from listing coworkers or members of management as recommendations on your resume.

Is there any professional way to tell your boss you’re job hunting to make it easier for yourself?

Examine Why You’re Job Hunting

Before checking out those job search sites, you may want to ask yourself why you are planning on finding a new job. Ask yourself if you are looking for a larger salary, more responsibilities, or are using the opportunity to switch career paths. One way to examine your reasons for job hunting is to create a list of positive and negative points of your current job. After completing the list, you will have a good idea why you really want a change.

Times When You Can Tell Your Boss

Actually, there are times when you can tell your boss you are job hunting without many problems. For example, if your spouse has taken a job in a different city and you are forced to move, it’s fine to share your news. Perhaps you have bought a new house on the other side of town, and the commute would add too much time to your daily routine. Or maybe you have health problems that could force you to take a job with less stress, or your spouse just retired and you want to work closer to home. Logistical reasons for a job change are fine to share with your boss.

Think about the Repercussions First

Having a good relationship with your employer can make telling him or her a possibility. In some instances, if you are an employee who knows you are valued, you might be offered a raise, another position in the company, or added responsibilities as an enticement to get you stay with the job. However, whether you tell your boss is strictly a judgment call. If you call it wrong, you could be out looking for a job earlier than you had planned and without the backup of your current position.

Timing is Everything

You’ve been on several interviews and the hiring manager is talking about when you start your new job. Is it time to inform your boss and put in your resignation? Until you have actually signed the contract for your new job, you should hold off on telling your current employer. You aren’t actually hired until those papers are signed, and someone else might come along and snag the new job you thought you had. When your new contract is signed, then is the time to tell your employer. It is also a good idea to let your new employer know that you need to give notice to your current boss with enough time for a replacement to be hired to fill your position. Your new boss will appreciate your courtesy.

Knowing when to tell your current employer that you are job hunting can be an important consideration to protect yourself. Job hunting with the ability to find all the listings that suit your position is also important, and there are easier ways than searching through job classifieds. TheJobNetwork can help. After you fill out your work interests and qualifications, TheJobNetwork searches 24-hours a day for listings that match your description and sends those listings to you as an email alert. All you do is sign up for job match alert to get started.

About the author

Jessie Liu

Jessie Liu is a digital marketer, specializing in SEO, Digital Analytics, Content Marketing and Social Media. She helps lead TheJobNetwork’s content marketing efforts, including content strategy and promotion strategy. She believes in data-driven decision making. She recently adopted a Beagle mix puppy named Happy. Feel free to tweet her @jessiecliu for pictures of her adorable new puppy or just any marketing related stuff.