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Leaving job, but manager is making future plans. Should I speak up?
July 15, 2010 9:55 AM   Subscribe

I'm leaving my job, but my boss is making travel plans for the future. Should I say anything about it?

I'm looking for a new job, and I have a prospect that is looking really really good. So, I might not be around that soon, but my manager is making plans to go traveling with me for some business.

I have a good relationship with her, but I have not yet told her or given her my notice. I don't want my company to spend money on something that I won't be attending. Should I speak up or just let it happen?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (25 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Easy answer, tell her about you're leaving on time. Not telling it will lead to complications later.
posted by bbxx at 9:58 AM on July 15, 2010


You can't really tell your boss (or yourself) that you have a new job until you have a new job. Besides, tickets and hotel reservations can be canceled; conference fees can be renegotiated.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:58 AM on July 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


Until you have an offer in hand and you have accepted it and resigned, I would not say anything.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:00 AM on July 15, 2010 [25 favorites]


If you want to maintain the good relationship, and it is generally a good idea to do that whenever possible in your employment career, let her know now that you are looking at a job prospect in which you are very interested. Then she can figure out if she wants to book your reservations now or not.

I'd be quiet about your plans only if you genuinely think you might be fired for looking elsewhere, or for some reason think your potential new job will permanently sever your ties with your current employment contacts.
posted by bearwife at 10:03 AM on July 15, 2010


I would strongly discourage you from telling your boss about the prospect until it becomes real real, like offer letter in hand real.
posted by sweetkid at 10:07 AM on July 15, 2010 [5 favorites]


Key word in your post is 'might'. Until that word is 'definitely', keep schtum.
posted by Happy Dave at 10:13 AM on July 15, 2010


You're also not telling her that you might get hit by a bus before the trip, or that your grandmother might die before the trip, or about any of a million other things that might happen between then and now. If she's planning on you being there forever, then that's her own problem.
posted by Etrigan at 10:13 AM on July 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


Why would you tell your boss? If she is at all competent, she would begin looking for a replacement, cancel any travel plans for you, and take you off any important or significant projects immediately.

Lets say you don't get this job. Now what? Are you going to go back and say "Hey, just kidding! Can I have my old job back (until I can find something better)?"

Unless you're set on leaving whether or not you get that job, do not inform your boss until you have an offer in hand.
posted by danny the boy at 10:17 AM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's really a judgment call, and you haven't given us enough information to say. (For instance, "traveling...for some business" is pretty vague. So is describing your relationship with your boss as "good.") But Bearwife is right that whenever possible in your career, you should take extra care not to burn bridges.

No, you should (probably) not mention that you are courting another company until you have a written offer. But there are other ways—by being vague, by telling a white lie, etc.—that you can help your boss not commit to something unnecessarily until you have made your decision, without revealing why.
posted by cribcage at 10:18 AM on July 15, 2010


I wonder if you were contemplating a significant expenditure that your boss found out about (say a vacation overseas...or a new home) while she was simultaneously thinking about laying you off, if she would advise you against your purchase since she was kinda thinking about laying you off at some point. Perhaps she would, but I doubt it. Let this be your guide.
posted by nickjadlowe at 10:20 AM on July 15, 2010 [16 favorites]


Even if you want to do the right thing in terms of your company's resources, your priorities should be 1. you, 2. everything else. Letting your boss know that you *might* be leaving is a clear violation of priority 1.
posted by mcstayinskool at 10:26 AM on July 15, 2010


That's just details about your transition which you can deal with when you do give your notice and start discussing how to make a successful transition.

Wait, and when the time comes, have this issue on your radar to reassure your employer that you are thinking about their investment and their future needs - and that you will do what is in your power in the time you remain to ensure that she is prepared to go it alone at that event, or that another person has all the information necessary to support your boss in your stead.
posted by greekphilosophy at 10:29 AM on July 15, 2010


You don't know that you have that new job yet, so not telling her is giving her the most accurate inforamtion you have. That is the best any of us can do. Don't shoot yourself in the back!
posted by cestmoi15 at 10:30 AM on July 15, 2010


Absolutely do not say anything until the new job is concrete. Your company won't loose any money because they could just transfer the travel arrangements to your replacement, or get a refund.
posted by nomad at 10:30 AM on July 15, 2010


your company probably has some policy about what they expect when leaving - like 2 weeks notice.

as long as you give them that, you should be ok
posted by Flood at 10:50 AM on July 15, 2010


If you have a good relationship with your boss, I don't see a reason why you wouldn't tell her. It's not like she will fire you, right? She might even offer you more money, or a promotion, and you'll leave your job without having burned a bridge.
posted by halogen at 10:53 AM on July 15, 2010


It's not like she will fire you, right?

Some places I've worked will fire you as a matter of policy if you tell them you're shopping around. Similarly, I know of no sane manager who would offer a raise to an employee who offhandedly mentions they think they might get a new job without an offer in hand.
posted by Geckwoistmeinauto at 11:07 AM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


My vote would be for not telling them until you have a firm offer from the other company.

If nothing comes of it and you have told your current company then it could get really messy.
posted by mr_silver at 11:34 AM on July 15, 2010


If your company was planning on doing layoffs which you might be included in and they discovered you were planning on buying a new car, would they tell you? In almost ever company, no.

You have to decide for yourself what your relationship is with your boss and your company, including what the risk is to you if you tell them you're shopping around. We here can only tell you what things are like on average, and on average you should keep this to yourself.

This offer could fail to come in. It could come in with an amount of money that you can't live with. You could learn things about the new gig that make it unappealing or something could change where you are to make you decide you'd like to stay. If you tell them you're one foot out the door and then you don't leave you run the risk that they will never invest in you professionally or financially ever again.

The company is going to act in its own interest over yours and you should do the same for yourself. There may be places where that's not the case but it's rare. And honestly, if there was that level of mutual commitment, why wouldn't you be staying?
posted by phearlez at 11:53 AM on July 15, 2010


I dont recommend you tell anything to anyone until you have a firm offer in hand. Many many times I thought I was offered a job and then either nothing happens or the offer given wasnt what I wanted. Once you tell your company that you are leaving you HAVE to leave and if that offer for some reason or another goes away you'll be totally screwed.
posted by The1andonly at 12:08 PM on July 15, 2010


Without an offer in hand, never share this information. I have been burned by this in the past.
posted by hworth at 12:09 PM on July 15, 2010


Nthing say nothing until you have an offer in hand.
posted by The Michael The at 12:29 PM on July 15, 2010


if you were contemplating a significant expenditure that your boss found out about (say a vacation overseas...or a new home)

Just as a counter point, my boss actually did this with an employee. They were planning to let the individual go at the end of the season, and found out about three months in advance that he was considering buying a nice brand new car.

The bosses took him aside, and let him know that they would be making a change at the end of the year, and didn't want to let him make such a purchase without knowing the full situation. He was very gracious, wanted to finish out the year, and did eventually purchase the new car.

Not the norm, I'm sure, and it is a family business; but occasionally the boss is looking out for you.

That being said, I wouldn't bring it up until you're completely ready to move to your new job.
posted by shinynewnick at 1:40 PM on July 15, 2010


Would you tell a significant other "I'm thinking about breaking up with you if I can find someone better"?

No no no no no no no!
posted by blue_beetle at 1:46 PM on July 15, 2010


The only way I'd advise you to tell your boss is if a) you have a definite, official offer in hand, or b) you are going to leave your job regardless. If you're not 100% sure you've got the new job, or you're not prepared to leave your current job after you tell your boss what's up, then I would say keep quiet until you know for sure.

if you were contemplating a significant expenditure that your boss found out about (say a vacation overseas...or a new home)

Just as a counter point, my boss actually did this with an employee.


Yes, I know people this has happened to. It was pretty menschy of their employers. I don't think it's the norm, though.

posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 2:01 PM on July 15, 2010


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