Should I tell my boss???

eRondeau

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 3, 2004
1,020
96
Canada's South Coast
My situation: I am second-in-command of a team of employees with some very unusual job skills. I am treated with respect and well-paid and really have no complaints about my job at all. Over the last decade my boss has sent me on some expensive and hard-to-get courses to support some very specialized computer software. At a recent course I met privately with the instructor and expressed interest in possibly coming aboard as a trainer some time in the future. I was encouraged to apply should a position ever open-up. A month ago one did (first time in years) and I sent in a resume. Today they called and scheduled an interview.

My worry: I have not yet told my boss that I've applied for another job. I hope my boss will be supportive, however my leaving will put them in a difficult situation because nobody else has my specific skill-set maintaining this equipment and it will take my replacement years to get. There is also the very distinct possibility that my boss has applied for the same instructing job -- and I have no idea what they will say/do if I am their "competition".

Your question: Do I tell my boss that I am a finalist for the training job and I might be resigning in January, giving them time to figure-out what to do if it happens? Or do I shut up until I'm actually offered the job and then catch them totally off-guard and send my current employer into a panic? HELP!!!
 

dmr727

macrumors G3
Dec 29, 2007
8,623
25
NYC
I would tell your boss that you have an interview. Leaving him/her hanging is weak.
 

zap2

macrumors 604
Mar 8, 2005
7,242
1
Washington D.C
From a personal stand point, it might be better to keep your card close to your chest, until you know for sure, that said, when you know for sure, you could offer to help out until your replacement has a general idea of what is going on.


I wouldn't want to leave them high and dry(since it seems they have been good to you and you seem to like them), but I certainly wouldn't risk losing a better job.
 

dukebound85

macrumors P6
Jul 17, 2005
18,059
1,187
5045 feet above sea level
just be professional about it

simply say you have another option that you would like to pursue, give your 2 weeks during the 2 weeks, make the handoff to your succeesor as easy as possible

dont feel bad about it, its your life. you arent forced to stay there and dont let it become personal
 

QuarterSwede

macrumors G3
Oct 1, 2005
9,146
1,080
Colorado Springs, CO
From a personal stand point, it might be better to keep your card close to your chest, until you know for sure, that said, when you know for sure, you could offer to help out until your replacement has a general idea of what is going on.


I wouldn't want to leave them high and dry(since it seems they have been good to you and you seem to like them), but I certainly wouldn't risk losing a better job.
This is what I would do. You may want to give them more than 2 weeks to train stay on to train the replacement but that's your choice obviously.

Just remember that you have no obligation to tell your boss that you are interviewing. He probably wouldn't tell his superiors if he was.
 

sushi

Moderator emeritus
Jul 19, 2002
15,630
3
キャンプスワ&#
Definitely a quandary.

If you don't tell your boss and the new employer calls him for a reference, and this is the first time he hears about it, you could be toast.

If you approach your boss beforehand, they may make a counter offer to keep you there. So you'll need to know what your response will be ahead of time.

Personally, I've always been up front with my boss when looking for a new job. Most are understanding if the new position is a good career move for you. YMMV.
 

Arran

macrumors 601
Mar 7, 2008
4,353
2,725
Atlanta, USA
It's a tough call if you really like your current employer. That said, say nothing until you're actually offered the job and decide to take it. Give the appropriate notice, help hand over your duties and leave on good terms.

Turning it around: Imagine your boss told you that he's thinking of laying you off, but isn't sure yet. How would you feel about your boss? How would it affect your ongoing relationship even if he didn't let you go? Would you continue to give your boss freebies - like unpaid overtime? Where would your loyalty lie?

So with that perspective, if your boss knows you're looking to jump ship, do you think he's going to keep giving you freebies (like expensive training). Of course he may use extra freebies as a retention tactic - or maybe not. Depends on how he views it.

(Edit: and what Sushi says above is good advice too. A lot depends on your relationship with your boss and what's considered normal practice in your industry/profession)
 

DiamondMac

macrumors 68040
Aug 11, 2006
3,299
16
Washington, D.C.
There is no answer you should follow on here because every situation is different

In my first job, I would NEVER tell my boss as he would have either fired me OR pushed me eventually due to feeling I was abandoning him.

In my second job, my boss would be supportive and help me get the job that I wanted.

There are people in between of course.
 

jecapaga

macrumors 601
Jul 1, 2007
4,295
22
Southern California
Do not tell your boss anything until you have confirmed a new position. Even better if you have something in writing. Do you think if they were to lay you off or fire you that they would give you a six month lead time? You're not being a jerk. It's business.

No doubt you leaving will put them in a spot but that's life. You can train your replacement as best you can after giving your two weeks.
 

Metatron

macrumors 6502
Jul 2, 2002
383
47
It easy my friend...

If you are in a real professional, well paid job, than your company is at fault for not going two deep to make sure they can pass the bus test.

If the job you have is around 6 figures are higher, than leaving with anything less than a months notice is just unprofessional. And the hiring company should expect no less from an individual of your caliber.

Once you have been offered the job, tell you boss. He may counter offer to keep you. Otherwise take a few days to make a decision. Consult with friends, family, and other professionals in your field. Remember, if you except the job, give a proper notice.
 

Surely

Guest
Oct 27, 2007
15,043
8
Los Angeles, CA
Do not tell your boss anything until you have confirmed a new position. Even better if you have something in writing. Do you think if they were to lay you off or fire you that they would give you a six month lead time? You're not being a jerk. It's business.

No doubt you leaving will put them in a spot but that's life. You can train your replacement as best you can after giving your two weeks.
I can agree with that.

The only other thing I'd add is that if you're happy where you're currently working, and you do get an offer with the computer software trainers, you may be able to use the offer to renegotiate your current salary. If they say no, then you've got the new job waiting for you anyway.
 

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
14,874
57
Yep, telling your boss before you have been hired by another company is like growing a third leg and kicking yourself in the nads.

They may be understanding, they may immediately terminate you, or they may counter the other offer.

The nad kick ...

Since there are likely many cheap hires waiting for your job, those with serious job hunting expeditions should be immediately escorted off the floor and fired.

Seriously, if they get a whiff of somebody that doesn't want to work with you any more -- there isn't a single reason in hell to keep them longer than it takes to have security remove them after firing them. Replacements are cheap right now.

---

There might not be a single person they can replace you with, but if they can replace you with 2-3 part timers for less ... as a manager it might be worth the risk.
 

Ttownbeast

macrumors 65816
May 10, 2009
1,135
0
It sounds very competitive, wait until something is in writing absolutely guaranteeing you have the job before giving notice or even letting your current boss have a clue. You can always break the agreement (as long as it is not binding on your end) with your potential new employer if you know how to use the leverage correctly. Pros and Cons? There is a risk of losing any credit with the potential new employer for backing out of the deal but if you play it right and get something better where you are it might be worth it. Also since your boss is the competition it depends on his attitude--will he respect you for growing a pair or will he resent you for stealing an opportunity from him? That depends on how well you know your boss--either way best bet is to take the gamble, keep your mouth shut, put on a poker face, and play the hand until the last card is dealt and you have to show your cards.
 

Rodimus Prime

macrumors G4
Oct 9, 2006
10,132
4
Definitely a quandary.

If you don't tell your boss and the new employer calls him for a reference, and this is the first time he hears about it, you could be toast.

If you approach your boss beforehand, they may make a counter offer to keep you there. So you'll need to know what your response will be ahead of time.

Personally, I've always been up front with my boss when looking for a new job. Most are understanding if the new position is a good career move for you. YMMV.
Ah but you see if the company you are interviewing with calls you current employer with our you permision they open themselves up to a lot of legal trouble. You get fired from your current employer for the same reason legal problem for them.

But mostly it is the company doing the calling that opens themselves up to multiple law suits.

There is a reason they ask if they may call your current employer.

If I was the OP I would not tell my boss I was looking or even a finalist. Even more so in economic times like this. Do not show your cards.

If you run into your boss there well not like much can be done. Your boss knows if he goes after you that you can turn him in as well. If you get the Job jack you boss can do to you. If you boss gets the job you get a promotion. If neither of you gets the job you all both have that to bitch about together. No real loss there.
 

iBlue

macrumors Core
Mar 17, 2005
19,174
15
London, England
I think I would wait until you had an offer first but give your current employer plenty of notice (~a month or so) to find and train your replacement. The new employer should be understanding about this as it's the professional thing to do and I'm sure they'd want the same courtesy extended to them.
 

AppleMatt

macrumors 68000
Mar 17, 2003
1,779
9
UK
Use the fact that's it is abroad to your advantage. Tell your boss you've seen a 'job in the sun' and applied for it. That's very different to applying for a job elsewhere in this country; everyone wants to move abroad etc.

As others have said though, I'd think carefully about when you tell him. You never know, if you're that good he might be pleased you're moving on up.

AppleMatt
 

Shaun.P

macrumors 68000
Jul 14, 2003
1,599
13
Omicron Persei 8
Use the fact that's it is abroad to your advantage. Tell your boss you've seen a 'job in the sun' and applied for it. That's very different to applying for a job elsewhere in this country; everyone wants to move abroad etc.

AppleMatt
The job isn't abroad. I read "aboard" as "abroad" too! Strange!
 

angelneo

macrumors 68000
Jun 13, 2004
1,537
0
afk
If your boss have problems replacing you, he should have already put it down in your employment contract. Just follow the terms of your employment and hand over your duties to the best of your effort is good enough.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,864
30,391
Boston
Telling your boss that you plan on leaving is the kiss of death for your career with your current company.

Lets go through a what if.
You tell your boss you had this interview and you don't get that job. What is your bosses next step. Looking for a replacement for you since he knows that you don't want to be there. Your raises and bonuses may shrivel up since you're not a company man and they want to dedicate resources to someone willing to stay.

Also look at it this way. Will your boss or company tell you that they're thinking of laying you off because of bad times. No they'll call you into the office and let you go. You need to make sure you set yourself up for the future w/o burning bridges. That might mean providing an extended notice, but not telling your boss you applied for another position.
 

CylonGlitch

macrumors 68030
Jul 7, 2009
2,925
109
SoCal
Don't say anything until you have the written contract, IN YOUR HANDS! As for counter offers, typically they are a very bad idea to take.

1) The original reason you wanted to leave is still there. If you were unhappy with the work, the work location, the people, or even just want something different. Those will all still be there if you take the offer. If more money is your ONLY reason for leaving, then the counter offer may be reasonable.

2) If you take the counter offer and stay; they know that you were unhappy or underpaid, and were looking. That means that if they gave you more money you now have a better negoiting item with someone else. Thus the reason they give you the counter offer is to give them time to find / train someone to replace you.

Often if you are unhappy with your work, or pay, or environment, you would be better off to sit down with your boss and tell him directly instead of threatening to leave unless you get soemthing changed (and that's what expecting a counter offer is). If you tell the boss that you are going to take a training job somewhere else because it pays more; you could find yourself on the street curb that day.

Just play it safe, and keep to yourself.
 

pilotError

macrumors 68020
Apr 12, 2006
2,240
4
Long Island
Companies are not your friends.

Don't say anything unless your giving your notice. At that point, you can negotiate the leaving terms and even take on a consulting role if necessary, to help them through their transition period. It's a nice way to make some extra cash on the side. If you leave and decide that you hate being a trainer, that door may be open for you to come back if it doesn't work out.

Your company won't be happy about their vendor poaching one of their employees, so be prepared for that as well... It may turn out that the vendor doesn't want to ruin that relationship either, and may pass on you.

If you tell them and things don't work out, any career you had left there is pretty much over. You will be passed by for promotions, because they don't know if you going to be sticking around. If they even find out you were looking, you've broken that trust they have in you. Counter offers are ways of keeping you there long enough to train someone to replace you.