Should I Tell My Boss I Am Looking for a New Job?

by | Oct 17, 2022

There comes a time in everyone’s professional life when they have to ask themselves the tough question: should you tell your boss you are looking for a new job? The simple answer is yes because honesty and clear communication is key to leaving on good terms. 


Although it may seem disloyal to be switching jobs, a healthy company culture embraces the reality that you are looking to grow your career and can understand your desire to pursue other avenues. 


Why You Should Tell Your Boss You Are Job Hunting

Being upfront about your intentions to leave may seem daunting, but career experts suggest that leaving on good terms with your boss is critical to maintaining networking relationships in your industry. If the separation from your company is seen as professional and you leave a positive impact on the organization, it increases your likelihood of receiving a beneficial recommendation for future job interviews. 


There are several other reasons why notifying your boss that you are switching careers is a good idea. 


Internal Opportunities

A side effect of being honest about your intentions is that your boss may find it more valuable to try and further your growth internally since job turnover is costly for any business. Returning with a counteroffer is a tactic most bosses try to use by either increasing your salary or offering a promotion. 


Before fully committing to another job offer, be mindful of promotions available within the company you are currently in. This knowledge can not only benefit you in deciding to go somewhere else, but it can also be used as leverage for the conversation you will have about seeking other employment opportunities. 

Glowing References

Prospective employers often want to see a positive recommendation from your previous employer. To achieve this, make sure you have a lasting impact on your previous organization and the people you worked with along the way. 


Strong recommendations can carry your career through every phase of employment, so having a previous supportive boss value your abilities can help you long term. 



Honesty and communication show you respect your boss and the organization. Depending on the job, your current employer may have spent significant time and money training you, so being respectful about your departure is essential. 


Not only will your respect be returned by the employer, but being on good terms with people within your industry will always benefit you, regardless of what job you ultimately end up at. 


Why Shouldn’t You Tell Your Boss You Are Job Hunting

Telling your boss about receiving a final offer is respectful to do in advance before you leave; however, telling them immediately you have other potential employers or job offers may not be beneficial to you. Depending on the state you live in, be mindful that your boss may choose to fire you immediately upon learning about your desire to leave. 


If they cannot fire you without reason, then their second course of action is to look for your replacement. Every organization is different, but most likely, what will occur is that your boss will have you train your replacement. 


Until a final offer is made to you by another organization and you are entirely sure this is the path you want to pursue, avoid telling your boss you are leaving. Once you have confirmation from another organization, be respectful in your approach and notify your boss about your departure. 


Early Job Loss

With an ever-changing market, companies may feel the need to downsize in 2022. If you inform your boss at the wrong time that you are job hunting, you will put yourself in the position to be one of the first cuts of laid-off employees. 


To ensure you do not get laid off and have nowhere to go, wait until you receive final confirmation on a new job. Do not notify anyone within the organization until you submit your notice in writing.  


Missed Opportunities

You may not find your next job immediately, and some bosses may make your remaining time at work unbearable by creating a toxic work environment. 


Unfortunately, some bosses may not respond respectfully to your desire to leave. If you do not have your next job lined up immediately, your boss may decide to create an uncomfortable work environment by micromanaging your tasks and passive-aggressive communication. 


If your boss decides to behave this way, here are some tips to help alleviate some of the stresses of continuing to work there:


  • Create a written record of all incidents and unfair treatment. A vital aspect is ensuring that every order given to you is written and confirmed via email. This protects you from any rumors spread about you by management to your coworkers and other prospective employers.


  • Maintaining a positive relationship with the career experts in HR is vital in any organization, especially since you may need their input later down the line if your current employer decides to ruin your credibility after you leave.


  • Although it may be difficult, approach the situation with maturity. Have a positive mindset and continue to be a good employee until you leave. This may not sway your boss’s behavior, but it can leave an impression on your coworkers, and maintaining those positive networking relationships is critical. 

The Rumor Mill

Even though it may seem professional and even considerate to tell coworkers about your departure, avoid telling them your desire to leave until you have put in your notice. 


Although you may be close with people who work around you, a lack of discretion can mean rumors about employees possibly leaving, which can lead to a toxic workplace and culture. Be mindful about who you tell concerning job hunting. 


You should also avoid posting your intention to look for a new job on social media or search for jobs via your company cell phone. Your boss may scan your social media accounts, and they may have the right to check your text messages on your company phone.  


Discover Your Next Career at JobsFuel

Whether or not you decide to leave, having the tools and information about how you address your boss during that time is vital. Being on the good side of a supportive manager and having a healthy relationship with your boss can be the deciding factor in gaining other job opportunities.


Always remember that you need to be upfront and honest with them about your decisions, and relationships in your former company will not be harmed. 

If you are unhappy with your position or just want to grow your career, explore the numerous job opportunities available in your area on, and feel free to browse our blog series for more information on how to ace an interview or transition to a new career.