I just searched for whether this had been discussed before and I read

Which is sort of the opposite of my question. I relocated to my current city for personal reasons and I'm now relocating back to the first one for equally personal reasons. I've started a search for an appropriate job there, and of course I'm having to supply my current boss's info as a reference. Although I don't expect him to be contacted until I'm at a point where I would tell him anyway, there's always Murphy's Law and human error; therefore I feel like I should tell him I'm looking.

I see both pros and cons in telling him:


  • It feels like the professional thing to do to let him know I am not going to be around at some point in the medium term future
  • It avoids an awkward situation in case of his being contacted


  • I have no external deadline and don't know how long it'll take me to find the job I'm looking for, so he isn't able to action that information too well. 
  • Potentially interesting and resume-positive work might no longer be assigned to me

What are people's thoughts or experience?



stenya's picture
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S, I'd seriously advise against telling your boss that you're starting a search. There's really nothing he can do with that information that will help you. If you feel you must disclose your current boss' name to potential hiring managers, just tell them that your job search is confidential and you'd prefer to delay any reference calls until later in the process. 

Search for the "How To Resign" podcast and listen to it asap. Bottom line: TELL NO ONE about your job search until there's something to tell! (And you are using the Interviewing Series, right? :-))

Good luck! 




stenya's picture
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Whoops - double post. :-(



spride's picture

 Hi Chris,

Thanks for the response. I did listen to "How to Resign" a while ago but I'll dig it out again. Yes, I got the Interviewing series in order to help me prepare for my current position, and its value is self-evident :-) I'll be reviewing it again soon. 

In retrospect I might be exaggerating the risk of a prospective employer approaching my current employer at the very beginning of an application, but it has happened to me before (and in my area of Higher Education, too, albeit back in the UK not here in the US) so I'm always a little leery.

Thanks again!