Do I Tell Current Employer I’m Looking for New Job?

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Dear Experts,

I’m an office administrator at my current place of employment. However, I am currently looking for an internship or new job opportunity. I’m afraid when an opportunity comes along, I won’t be able to give my company more than two weeks notice at best (the interior design field is highly competitive).

My husband is also familiar with my work situation and thinks that my company may take mean advantage of the advance notice. I’m afraid they may be angry if I only give them two weeks notice. Should I make my company aware I am looking so that they can prepare for my separation?

Here is how our T.A.P. experts answered this question:

@dawnbugni Q#162 Goodness NOOOOOO. Keep your search confidential – period. You’re in charge of your career not them. (1of2)

@louise_fletcher Q#162 No! Tell them if and when you have accepted another job offer and not before.

@dawnbugni Q#162 Could backfire or result in immediate termination. 2 wks notice sufficient. They won’t give U layoff notice.

@jtodonnell Q#162 NO, NO, NO! Don’t say you’re looking to leave. Good co’s don’t react negatively to 2wks. It’s part of biz.

@ValueIntoWords Q#162 Echo others: Never hint that ur searching other jobs. Current emplyr will b obliged to find ur replacement.

@beneubanks Q#162 2 weeks=plenty unless you’re a manager. If worried, don’t give extra warning. Start x-training other EEs.

@juliaerickson Q#162 Don’t tell them; they may fire u b4 u find new job; 2 wks sufficient notice; look out 4 urself, not them.

@DebraWheatman Q#162 Do not reveal this. It could take some time. Employer could terminate you immediately if they find out.

@gradversity Q#162 Don’t share this information with your employer. If you get a new offer, they should understand that 2 weeks is standard.

@resumesrevealed Q#162 Echo experts – u shld absolutely keep ur search confidential. Wait til u have accepted another offer!

@heatherhuhmanQ#162 Agree wholeheartedly w/other experts. No reason to notify until you have a confirmed offer in hand.

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7 comments

  1. I wouldn't phrase it that way. Instead, if boss asks you if you are happy, I'd turn the tables and say, “Yes, I like this job and don't want to leave, but at this age, I can see why others are leaving. I think money is a concern for many of us since our salaries are low. Hence, even if we like a job, if we feel like the company isn't going to eventually pay us more as we get better at our jobs, we feel we have to move on for our own sakes.” At which point you can say, “What is the company's thoughts on this right now? Are they thinking about finding ways to retain those of us who want to stay with more money? Is that an option?”

    This way, you aren't admitting that you are looking to leave, but rather, explaining the thought process and indirectly getting him to consider solutions that would keep you there. It will also indicate that he should consider YOU for this solution so he doesn't lose you too.

    Hope that helps!

    JT

  2. what about this scenario;

    your company is underpaying, other peers are getting new jobs at much higher salaries, boss is getting really worried and personally asking employees if they are happy or not.

    You are happy with the job but are underpaid and need a raise. (your looking for other jobs but its only because of the low pay). Thinking about telling the company that you are looking so that they get worried that you'll leave and offer you a raise.

    any thoughts?

  3. I wouldn't phrase it that way. Instead, if boss asks you if you are happy, I'd turn the tables and say, “Yes, I like this job and don't want to leave, but at this age, I can see why others are leaving. I think money is a concern for many of us since our salaries are low. Hence, even if we like a job, if we feel like the company isn't going to eventually pay us more as we get better at our jobs, we feel we have to move on for our own sakes.” At which point you can say, “What is the company's thoughts on this right now? Are they thinking about finding ways to retain those of us who want to stay with more money? Is that an option?”

    This way, you aren't admitting that you are looking to leave, but rather, explaining the thought process and indirectly getting him to consider solutions that would keep you there. It will also indicate that he should consider YOU for this solution so he doesn't lose you too.

    Hope that helps!

    JT

  4. what about this scenario;

    your company is underpaying, other peers are getting new jobs at much higher salaries, boss is getting really worried and personally asking employees if they are happy or not.

    You are happy with the job but are underpaid and need a raise. (your looking for other jobs but its only because of the low pay). Thinking about telling the company that you are looking so that they get worried that you'll leave and offer you a raise.

    any thoughts?

  5. what about this scenario;

    your company is underpaying, other peers are getting new jobs at much higher salaries, boss is getting really worried and personally asking employees if they are happy or not.

    You are happy with the job but are underpaid and need a raise. (your looking for other jobs but its only because of the low pay). Thinking about telling the company that you are looking so that they get worried that you'll leave and offer you a raise.

    any thoughts?

    • I wouldn't phrase it that way. Instead, if boss asks you if you are happy, I'd turn the tables and say, “Yes, I like this job and don't want to leave, but at this age, I can see why others are leaving. I think money is a concern for many of us since our salaries are low. Hence, even if we like a job, if we feel like the company isn't going to eventually pay us more as we get better at our jobs, we feel we have to move on for our own sakes.” At which point you can say, “What is the company's thoughts on this right now? Are they thinking about finding ways to retain those of us who want to stay with more money? Is that an option?”

      This way, you aren't admitting that you are looking to leave, but rather, explaining the thought process and indirectly getting him to consider solutions that would keep you there. It will also indicate that he should consider YOU for this solution so he doesn't lose you too.

      Hope that helps!

      JT

  6. Agree with others that you shouldn't tell employers about searches in MOST cases.

    But if big life change (relocation, etc.) is coming, I'd consider telling them, depending on the company, your standing there and the nature of your job.

    I did when I planned to relocate and they appreciated it, because I was able to train my successor and we were able to plan the transition.

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