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Thread: Contact current employer? Do you let them know you are applying?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
    Apr 2003
    Somewhere between the mountains and the ocean.

    Contact current employer? Do you let them know you are applying?

    In the application page, it has a question about contacting your current employer. What do you check and what is the reasoning behind it? I realize every situation is different, which is why I requested an explanation. The other part is do you give your current employer a heads up that you are applying for a job elsewhere?

    What variables do you think should come into factor when trying to decide who knows and who does not know that you are applying?
    If you want different results in your life, you need to do different things than you have done in the past. Change is that simple.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
    Jan 2009
    Remote command post at local bar
    I always check the box yes. I figure you can call my boss. She'll give me a good review. Provided she remembers who I am (she's been having some of those senior moments).

    I don't tell anyone I'm applying. I might get interviews with a lot of places, but unless I'm in the second round, I doubt the hiring place is calling in references yet.

    My references know that I'm looking for work. I want to make sure they're not shocked by the call. I just can't tell my boss because then it would affect my work. They would look at me different, never starting big projects for fear that I might leave, etc.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

  3. #3
    Mar 2013
    Central Virginia
    For this last job application, I asked them not to contact my current employer. I wasn't really doing a full-blown job search. I was keeping my eye out for what I thought would be a good fit and decided to apply here. So since I had no idea if it was going to go anywhere or not, I just kept it to myself.

    But I was also kind of reading the writing on the wall and felt that I had maxed out my potential at my then current locality. There was some weird stuff going on - I was accused of talking about how much I disliked my boss behind his back to the point that someone (and I don't know where this came from although I have some suspicions) considered it to be insubordination. I honestly have no idea where that came from - I actually liked and respected my last boss a lot, which isn't to say I agreed with him on everything. And then shortly after that, I had made a mistake at a public hearing in answering one of the supervisors' questions, which I owned up to and thanked another supervisor for correcting me, and that was blown way out of proportion in my mind considering I'd been in my position for over eight years and had never had any problems previously.

    So, I think all those kinds of things played into my decision to keep quiet. I didn't want to do anything that would make it look like I didn't want to be there in case I didn't end up getting this job. I felt like there were enough other weird factors working against me at that precise moment.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
    Mar 2004
    Vegas BABY!!
    Blog entries

    No way

    No way. If I'm comfortable enough for them to talk to my current employer why the hell am I trying to leave the job??

    If I'm leaving for more money my current employer doesn't need a heads up that I'm looking.
    “The way of acquiescence leads to moral and spiritual suicide. The way of violence leads to bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers. But, the way of non-violence leads to redemption and the creation of the beloved community.”
    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
    - See more at: http://www.thekingcenter.org/king-ph....r7W02j3S.dpuf

  5. #5
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
    Jun 2003
    at the neighboring pub
    That's actually something I always check "no" on. In the first round of interviews, I'll tell them that I'm confident in receiving a positive reference, but that I would like the opportunity to let my supervisor know before the call is made. I'll play it into "I'm not trying to get out--I just saw this particular position as an opportunity not to be missed." That has the added benefit of communicating that you aren't just playing the field.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  6. #6
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
    Mar 2007
    Lowering the PCI in the Hills
    Our department manager is very supportive of folks in the department looking for other positions. He knows that promotions within our department can be slow and that people like to advance. He even occasionally forwards outside job openings to various people in the department if he sees something that he thinks might be of interest to people and he will actually call other agencies or firms to put in a good word for people who are thinking of applying. I generally check "Yes" on applications indicating that they can contact my current employer and I provide his name and contact info as the contact. We have a few managers/supervisors here that I could imagine might not be as helpful or supportive if they knew somebody was actively looking for new employment so I make sure not to provide their contact info or I will check "No" if I think the people I would be applying with might contact them directly.

    If I worked in a smaller department with just one manager, I might be more hesitant to check "Yes" as frequently as I do (FWIW though, I haven't applied to anywhere else in a couple of years).

    Even though one of my bosses is very supportive, I would only give them a heads up that I was applying outside if it was to a position that I thought I had a very good chance at landing and I thought that the one very supportive boss might be able to put in a good word for me (I would tell him but not any other bosses or coworkers). I guess if my spouse landed some job outside of the region I would readily tell my bosses that I was applying to jobs outside of the area since we would be moving regardless.

    Incidentally, 4 or 5 years back I applied for a job with the state and landed an interview. I did well enough to get a second interview. The second interview had a panel with only one of the same people from the first round. One of the people on the panel in the second round was one of the supervisors in my department. He wasn't my direct supervisor, but it was still somebody I work with closely. They had a list of standard questions that they worked through and one of them towards the end was "Can we contact your current employer". We all got a laugh at that one. FWIW, I didn't get a job offer out of that but it ended up being for the best as the agency has had some massive budget and job cuts since than and there seems to be huge turnover among the remaining staff.
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