The Career Doctor™

Dear Career Doctor:

I work in a field where it seems like everyone knows each other, so I am afraid that if I look for another job, my boss will find out. I assume that will hurt my career. Any suggestions?


Dear Mark:

Your short question has two parts. First, yes, it can hurt your career if your boss finds out you are looking for a job. How much depends on your value to the company and how easily you can be replaced. You could be asked to leave. On the other hand, you could be given a raise to keep you. But even if you are given a raise, your loyalty will always be questioned, and that's not good for a career.

Here's a suggestion I gave to a client of mine in a similar situation: Get involved in professional organizations and go to conventions. While networking at these places, mention that a friend of yours with a similar background is looking for a job, but doesn't want his company to know, so you offered to ask around for him. This may be quite transparent, but it is a way that my client found a good new job without jeopardizing his current one.

If any readers have other suggestions, I will be happy to print them for Mark.


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