Applying To Other Jobs… Should You Tell Your Current Employer?
When it’s time to transition to a different job, leaving your current one can feel awkward. Fortunately, our experts have in-depth insight on when (and if) you should tell your current employer you’re looking to move along.

Internal vs External

If you’re applying for internal positions, etiquette with your supervisor is different than when you conduct an external search.

Marisella, a Hiring Expert at American Express, shares, “If you are interviewing for an internal position, it's always good to sit down with your current leader and discuss your interest in a new role. However, if you're interviewing at a completely different company, I would advise you to make that call depending on the situation. If you're interviewing at different places because you're not sure about your career path or are lacking certain learning opportunities, it may be wise to sit down with your leader and have an open discussion around this. If you're interviewing at different organizations for reasons that are out of your control and won’t change, I would keep it confidential. You're not obligated to tell your current employer you're interviewing, but you should discuss it with them once you receive a formal offer letter and have decided to proceed with the necessary onboarding processes.”  More from Marisella

Steve, a Hiring Expert at Caterpillar Inc., agrees, saying, “You are not obligated to advise your current employer that you are interviewing outside of your company. Especially if you feel that it could cause awkwardness should you end up not being hired by the other employer. If your interviewing process with another company progresses well and you receive an offer, let your employer know and give them as much notice as you can. This will show that you appreciate their situation and want to give them as much time as possible to prepare accordingly.”  More from Steve

If You Are Moving

Ashlyn, a Hiring Expert at Worthington Industries, says, “If your move is certain, it’s best to let your current employer know about your plans to relocate as soon as you can. In situations like this, it is important to maintain a professional outlook and providing your employer with ample time to backfill your position is a good way of doing so. I would also recommend searching for a new position as soon as you know you're moving. However, if you're a year out or more, I would focus on networking, rather than applying for specific positions. If you're moving within the next 2 months, I'd recommend you start applying now.”  More from Ashlyn

Steve from Caterpillar Inc. offers, “You should go ahead and advise your current employer as soon as possible if you are moving. Approach your relocation from the standpoint of wanting to be professional and give them as much notice as possible so you can help with any necessary transition. They should appreciate you being proactive and willing to help during the shift. Regarding applying for new positions, I would begin applying right away. When you begin interviewing, you should be clear with any prospective employers about the time frame in which you would be available to start work. If you have a strong relationship with the leaders at your current employer, they should be willing to work with you in the event you get a new job faster than you expected to.”  More from Steve

Your Contract Is Ending

In the case of your contract coming to a close, Sara, Hiring Expert at Grace, suggests, “I would speak to your first supervisor to confirm your end date and to let them know that you secured another position for after your contract ends. You will want to thank them for their time and for what you have learned, after all, jobs are all stepping stones. You might not have landed your next job without your current one. In all business situations, be as honest and professional as you can. This will be respected and remembered.”  More from Sara

Ashley, Hiring Expert at Cardinal Health, says, “If you are interested in keeping the connection open with your current manager after your internship ends, inform them of your plan to look for other jobs. It could be a great opportunity to share your future career plans with your current manager and keep the door open for future employment opportunities with the company.”  More from Ashley

Leaving Well

Whatever reason you’re looking for other opportunities, it’s important to leave your current employment in a way that is respectful and promotes positive networking in the future. Lina, Hiring Expert at ADP, shares, “You never want to burn any bridges, so make sure that you leave your current employment on good terms. Thank them for the opportunity and let them know that you want to diversify your experience but want to stay in touch. Hopefully, you’ve built a strong relationship with your manager and co-workers and have had a strong performance throughout your time there. Always give at least two weeks' notice and don’t forget to connect with your team on LinkedIn before you leave.”  More from Lina
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