12 Reasons You Should/Shouldn’t Tell A Boss You’re Looking For A New Job

There are so many reasons to look for a new job. Some people would love to try on new career paths, while others want a brand new working environment. Whatever your reasons are for looking, some should be discussed with your boss while other reasons should not. You might ask yourself, “Which ones should I tell and which ones should I not?”. Should you tell your boss Company B is offering you twice the salary? If your coworker is harassing you, is this something you should raise to your superiors, or do you think it’s better to file for resignation right away?

If you are looking for a list of reasons to tell and not to your manager, you are in the right article. There are great chances yours are listed here. If you are looking for specific reasons, try using your browser’s search function.

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Reasons To Tell

You will find eight out of the many reasons to tell your boss when leaving the company for a new job. Most of these reasons would revolve around personal/career growth, personal life, or geographical reasons.

  1. Advancement in career: Doing the same work and staying with the same company for an extended time may feel dragging and routinary, especially to young professionals or fresh graduates. If you are still working for the same company since you finished school, you may want to consider moving forward. Indeed, you won’t be able to experience everything in one company. Transferring from one employer to another expands the number of work cultures you experienced. Staying put with only one could lead you to ask questions, like how is it like to be at a different company, or maybe going to a different career path. If you feel like your work is not challenging anymore, talk with your lead or manager. They are the first people you should reach out to discuss. However, several factors are at stake, such as the availability of other job positions, promotion budget, etc.
  2. Change career path or industry: Not everyone wants to work in the same industry throughout their lifetime. It is quite common for employees to jump from one industry path to another for several reasons, such as not being in the career path they truly want. Some people may have no choice but to pursue a career in a certain industry because it is on-demand and pays a lot. Opening up to your boss may lead to enlightenment on what you truly want. It is personal, and most bosses will understand. However, it is important to consider the long-term and short-term effects. In the short term, you may not earn as much as before because you are still starting. It may take months or even years, so be sure to have enough savings to cover expenses. In the long-term, you will likely experience satisfaction, which contributes to your overall quality of work. Remember that if this shift in career path puts you a step closer to your goal, then taking the risk and living with the short-term effects may all be worth the risk.
  3. Change in the environment: Having toxic workmates or leads in the workplace are some of the many things you cannot avoid. Company culture plays a role in determining it. If you can tolerate and work in an environment that you feel uncomfortable, go for it. Enduring a toxic workplace may likely hurt your performance, which could manifest anytime between a few weeks to years after. On the other hand, other employees would want a change in environment for reasons unrelated to toxicity.
  4. Better pay/compensation: Overall compensation, inclusive of salary, perks, bonuses, and benefits, has a huge impact on why employees leave. Leveraging your skills and experiences for a position offered by another company with a better overall compensation package happens often. Depending on the employer, they could prioritize basic salary and bonuses over perks and benefits. For example, Company A could offer you a monthly salary of $5,000 but only has 30 PTO credits, while Company B offers a monthly salary of $4,000 but offers up to 50 PTO credits. The ultimate decision is up to you, but keep in mind to check on your long-term career goals and see if it aligns with the job offers you received. Take your time in making the decision. Ask for the opinion of others, such as your family, close friends, and even your bosses.
  5. Family reasons: Yes, leaving a job because of personal or family matters happen too. Some employees attend to the needs of a family member, such as providing support. If you are married to someone serving in the military, you may need to move to a location far from your office. Relocating abroad is another reason. Personal or family circumstances are often confidential, so you do not have to share them with your boss. If you feel like opening up to them, do know that not disclosing every detail is okay, and you should not feel bad about it.
  6. You are no longer happy: Unhappiness can come from several factors. Studies show happiness translates to the quality of work you deliver, which would reflect on your performance. If your job makes you feel sad, angry, or depressed, it may be high time to start looking into different options. Check on your emotions regularly, as they play a huge role in how you deal with work. You can speak with your supervisor or lead. Express how you feel about work and what your goals and aspirations are.
  7. You want to be self-employed: Some people only want to be employees temporarily. As part of a long-term plan, some people would start their careers as employees. Once they have enough money, they put up their own business in whatever industry they like. It is a brilliant yet tricky plan because you will have to review your employment contract before starting any business. Some employment contracts would prohibit you from starting a business in direct or indirect competition with the company.

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Reasons Not To Tell

Below are some of the many reasons not to tell your boss when looking for a new job. Being honest is good, but not to the point of compromising you and the future of your career. Some reasons for leaving are best kept to yourself and not shared with anyone at work, even your closest colleagues.

  1. The company is going down: Let’s say you are working for a company going through a lot lately. Given what the entire world is facing, several companies have reached a dead end. If you think your company is going down, you may want to consider looking for a new job. Loss of clients, downsize in the number of employees, and reduced budget is only some of the many implications of a company downturn. Although a downturn could be a reason to leave, it should not be the only reason. Not all companies go straight to bankruptcy or can no longer bounce back. As long as there is a recovery plan in place, the chances are great. With all this said, never forget to consider your feelings. Are you comfortable knowing the company you are working for is going down? Does it ever make you feel anxious? If it causes discomfort and severely affects you, you might want to file for that resignation.
  2. Company merger or acquisition: Anacquisition or merger is when two or more organizations join into one. It is a great opportunity to reassess your responsibilities and roles after the acquisition is complete. Restructuring often happens as a result of a merger. Ask yourself a few questions. Will you be doing the same thing, or are there changes? Are you in favor of any changes in company policies? The worst-case that would happen is getting laid off. The good thing is that it often takes several months to even years before an acquisition completes, so you will have time to think through your options and find a new employer if you decide to leave. It is not such a great idea to share this with your boss, as it could appear like you are not open to huge changes.
  3. Company restructuring: Company restructuring can either happen with or without the influence of an acquisition or merger. It could be for several reasons, such as a cut in the budget, merging of two or more positions into one, etc. Restructuring could include one or more of the following: Change in the structure of management (e.g., Two or more roles combining into one, the exit of a high-level director, complete redesign), a shift in the geographical location of the resources (e.g., Shifting resources from the United States to India to cut down on costs), or perhaps a change in ownership. Although it appears to be rare, restructuring happens a lot across several companies in different industries. Companies often do not announce it to all employees to prevent panic or unnecessary questions from being raised. If you receive news about it, keep it to yourself, as it is often confidential and limited to high-ranking officials only. In effect, you should refrain from telling your supervisor or manager that you are resigning because of the restructuring.
  4. You do not like your manager or lead: Although relationships at the workplace should be professional all the time, it is unavoidable to dislike or grow tired of your superiors. As humans, sometimes the line between personal and professional life weakens, which could cause hatred. It typically happens slowly and worsens through time. Every step of the way, ask yourself if working with and reporting to someone you dislike is worth it. If you think you can handle and live with it, then good for you. However, if the relationship with your manager is causing unnecessary stress to you or the people around you, it may be good to move forward to a different company. If you do not like your boss, do not tell him, as it could appear off. Instead, course your concerns to Human Resources. In situations like this, it is best to keep everything strictly professional. Be objective with your points and back them up with solid proof. Getting carried away by your emotions happens a lot, but you need to make sure you are in the right place at the right time, as it could backfire on you.
  5. You do not like your work shift or hours: Everyone has their preferred working hours. Although some companies will require you to be flexible, not everyone is okay with it. If you can no longer work with your assigned shift and have tried talking with your boss about it to no resolution, you may need to look for a new job that aligns with your preference. It is understandable since a lot of people are only productive at certain times of the day. Most people are against the night shift because it is difficult to adjust their sleeping patterns. Discussing working hour preferences with your superiors is not advisable if you do not know how to make the right approach. It can appear demanding or rude if you are not careful with how you say it.

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Should I tell my boss I’m looking for a new job?

Honestly, the answer to this question is a yes and a no. It depends on what sort of professional relationship you have with your job. Do you think you are close enough with your boss to open the topic? Do you constantly communicate with your boss? Is your relationship with your supervisor strictly professional, or are you friends outside of work? If your answer to all these questions is yes, then telling your boss about it would make sense. Otherwise, you are not obligated to tell anyone. Do keep in mind that telling about your plans on transferring to a different company might open doors for you at your current company.

When should you tell your boss you’re looking for another job?

There is no right or wrong time to tell your boss you are looking for another job. What is important here is that you professionally tell them you are leaving by sending in your resignation letter and adhering to your company’s notice period. Most companies would require two weeks notice period. Some companies may require a longer period, while others do not need it at all.

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How do you tell your boss you’re applying for another job?

You are not obligated to tell your boss you are applying for another job. The discretion is up to you, and do not feel intimated by your leads, bosses, or supervisors. However, if you want to tell them about it, find time to talk. You can either do it in person or through a virtual meeting, whichever is convenient and safe. You can tell them about your plans of applying somewhere else, but providing the level of details will ultimately depend on you.

That’s it. Hopefully this article has helped give you some perspective on how you should handle a situation when you’re about to leave the place you’re currently at. Managers will react very differently to the news of you looking for other opportunities. You are really the best person to evaluate whether or not you should be telling them about your plans. However, when it comes time to leaving, make sure that you stay professional in the way that you’re acting. After all, you may be asked why you decided to leave the last place you were at at interview.

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