OK, I’m far from being in “look for a new job” mode, but I’m at a point where I’m considering updating my resume and starting to keep an eye on what’s out there and possibly apply for a job or two if something looks like a good opportunity. The thing is though, that I’m actually pretty happy at my current job, and depending on how a few things go this year, I’m still thinking my strong preference would be to stay long term, unless I was offered something else that was really too good to pass up. Since I’m not looking to do anything to damage my standing at my current job, and I’m absolutely trying to avoid burning any bridges, one of the main priorities of my potential job search would be to keep it on the down low.
Now, asking my boss for a reference would be out of the question for obvious reasons, but there are some coworkers who I think would be good references and who also would keep it to themselves if I asked them to. My question is if this is a reasonable request for me to make of a coworker/friend, or if I’d be putting them in a bad spot by asking them to do something that could potentially lead to the company losing an employee. To be honest, if someone asked me to be a reference, I’d probably have no problem with it or with keeping it a secret if necessary, but I guess depending on the exact circumstances I could see how I might be at least a little conflicted. Is it a reasonable request to ask a current coworker to provide a “secret” reference?