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Old 07-28-2004, 07:18 PM
Boyo Jim Boyo Jim is offline
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 36,997
When is the earliest you would tell your boss that you are job hunting?

The answer for me has always been -- when I know for certain I'm leaving. If I applied for a job and didn't get it, I would never tell my boss.

I'm rethinking that today for several reasons. I've found a job opening that, on paper at least, was written for me, and pays about 15% more than what I earn now. First of all, I'm not on a determined "get out of here any way I can" job. The position I'll apply for is very close to what I described as my dream job in my interview for my current job. It's a kind of "I owe it to myself to try for it" thing rather than of any deep disatisfaction with where I am now.

Anyway, I told a co-worker (who I trust to keep it confidential) about applying, and she strongly encourage me to tell our boss Liz. She said I owe Liz the courtesy, as she's gone to bat for me several times. My co-worker also suggested another surprising thing, which is that I should use Liz as a reference.

I've never considered using my current boss as a reference for my next prospective job. Not only would know boss learn I was looking elsewhere even if I don't get the job, it would just seem to be an uncomfortable situation to put her in.

My co-worker, who's known my boss for 15 years, assures me that Liz will not take this as an insult, or retaliate in any way. She thinks Liz would want to help me get my dream job.

Old 07-28-2004, 07:20 PM
Boyo Jim Boyo Jim is offline
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 36,997
Man, that 2nd to last paragraph is a nightmare. Eh... y'all can probably figure out what I mean.
Old 07-28-2004, 07:32 PM
Powers106 Powers106 is offline
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Paris, France
Posts: 275

I would not have told a soul in the first place, but now that you have, I'd start playing the "well, I decided against it" bit. What do you have to gain, really? I mean, really? "Liz" gives you a good reference? Why's she giving you a good reference, she should be wanting you to stay! Trust your instincts. Wrap it in a bag and throw it away. Nobody needs to know until you have the signed contract in your hand. THEN you can try to get more money from your current job, or move on.

Anyway, am I the only one that played the "I make x amount of money, when I really made x-15%?" Why would you want to enter someone who could disprove this into the scenario? Honesty schmonesty, if you need your current boss to help you get the job you need to stay in the same company. Be tough, be cool, be independent, and most of all, be DISCREET!!!! (but now play damage control and start dropping some sort of hints for a VERY GOOD excuse as to why you might need to be out of the office during working hours, because they are ALL watching you now. A Mom with a broken leg is a wonderful excuse for having to leave in a hurry. Got kids? Oops, one is sick at school. Etc. etc. Think man, think, but think ahead.)

Old 07-28-2004, 10:16 PM
Burrido Burrido is offline
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: in the deep woods
Posts: 1,265
I wouldn't of said anything to anyone. IF I did get the job I would give two weeks and that's it. You don't owe them anything. Two week notice is plenty. Want to be gracious? Give a month notice then. What happens if you don't get the job and your boss knows your job hunting? Or worse, they want you to start training in a new person to fill yours. She might not take it as an insult or retaliate, but she probably is going to try to cover her ass.
This happened to my sister. She told her boss she was applying to a different position but ended up not getting it. So now she is training in her replacement because her boss knows that my sister is intend on leaving.
Old 07-28-2004, 10:47 PM
Abbie Carmichael Abbie Carmichael is offline
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: WV
Posts: 2,465
If you told a coworker, Liz probably already knows by now anyway. Rule #1 at work: don't tell a coworker ANYTHING that you don't want the whole company to know.

You don't owe your boss a heads up. If they've been good to you, 2 weeks notice when you accept the other job will suffice.

Take Powers106's advice and start doing damage control.
Old 07-29-2004, 09:38 AM
UncleBill UncleBill is offline
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Georgia, Atlanta-ish
Posts: 4,539
At my last company, there were only two of us who did my job, me and my boss. He asked me early on, as a professional courtesy, to let him know if I was going to look elsewhere, to allow time to get another person in and have a changeover. I felt that was reasonable.

So I did let him know I was beginning my search, asking it to be kept in confidence. He told HIS boss, which I felt was appropriate since that guy signed off on job openings, staffing, and all that, and I trusted him (my boss's boss) to be quiet about it.

Then my boss goes and tells someone in another department. He could never keep his mouth shut, and the person he told could keep a secret if it meant life or death. In a week it is all over the office. They never got in another person to interview until my last few weeks (which was 8 months later).

My advice? Don't tell until you have the new job.
Old 07-29-2004, 09:45 AM
Dangerosa Dangerosa is offline
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
Posts: 22,307
How is three and a half years?

I recently decided to undergo a career change. I'm going back to college. It will take me 3 1/2 years to finish. But I told not only my boss, but my executive director.

Why? Because I'm pretty valuable to them. Because I'm working on a project that will likely result in twilighting my technology, and I want them to sort of understand that I don't have a huge conflict of interest there - I'm not intending on managing that technology for much longer than it will take to retire it. Because I know that they will help with my career goal in some fashion - i.e. I'm going to be a CPA and my Director is willing to give me access to more financial systems work, if I and it are available. Because if they give me interesting work, I'll still pursue the degree, but may not decide to apply it and will stick around. And, because if they do decide I'm not a good long term investment and lay me off, I'll be a full time student and Brainiac4 can support me for a few years (he's ok with that).
Old 07-29-2004, 11:38 AM
asheets asheets is offline
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 19
Different take...

I've got a different take on this... I used to work for a small private technical college as an IT instructor. I took the job because the northern colorado market went very soft. They knew when I was hired that I was taking a 60% paycut to join them, but I was taking the job because (1) it would look good on my resume, and (2) it was better than being unemployed for the year I thought it would take for the job market to recover. Because i was inexperienced at teaching, and they were taking a chance on me, I guaranteed that I would stay on staff for 1 academic year.

Around the time that the 1 year committment ended, I was assigned to a committee that was looking at improving academic quality. The sub-group I was assigned to look at instructor retention. By then, the job market was improving, and I had several offers on the table (good money, but would have involved moving away). I submitted a recommendation that the college start paying a competative wage, based on the fact that the college's mission statement included a phrase that said that they wanted the best skilled workers in the industry to teach the next generation.

My proposal was rejected flat out, with the reply being that the college "does not have to worry about competition from industry due to the soft job market." I told them right then and there that I would be accepting the next job offer, for whatever from wherever, just to prove my point. Others in my department have joined me.

Bottom line, 6 weeks later, of the 4 employees in the IT academic department, here are the results:

2 have accepted 100% increases in salary from local fortune 100 companies and have resigned
1 is taking a 6 month sabbatical to be a consultant out of state for a 250% increase in salary
1 is on sabbatical to obtain his doctorate.

We have been replaced with a former instructor (who left because of burnout) and a part-timer from another department whose prior work experience in IT was on a help desk.

Petty and mean, I know, but from my point of view the college's response has been entirely Dilbert-esqe -- we want the best in the industry, but they also need to be salary-savants. Bottom line, I guess the best time to tell that you're looking should be based on how well (or badly) you are being treated in your current job,

Sorry for being long winded.
Old 07-29-2004, 01:34 PM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: San Jose
Posts: 38,079
What kind of notice do they give to the employees being asked to leave?

I ask becuase it has become common now to give a worker no notice at all- to just tell them Friday it's their last day whilst handing them a paycheck and Security is there to escort them out. A major "loss prevention" company has been strongly pushing this for the last decade or so. Note that severance pay can still be given, but no "notice' at all.

You owe them what they'd give you.
Old 07-29-2004, 02:13 PM
alimarx alimarx is offline
Join Date: May 2003
Location: The Land of Frooze
Posts: 366
Where do all of you guys work? I donno if it's the high turnover where I work, or the low pay, or what, but the bosses here encourage us to get "real" jobs; heck, they make it known that they're looking themselves. Kinda makes you not want to leave...


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