mediumSo, you’ve decided it’s time to move on for greener pastures? You’ve made the decision and now you’re going to start looking for a new job. Good for you! This is an exciting leap forward!

Just… make sure you don’t get yourself fired before you’ve landed.

A lot of our candidates ask us questions about references. If you ask someone who works at your current employer to put in a good word for you at another compan, is that person bound by any laws or policies from telling your boss?

The truth is, you need to be careful about your job search conversations when you are employed. Your choice of who to include in your job search activity needs to remain limited to those who can support your activity without jeopardizing your job.

There are no laws that would protect you if you were to be fired for blabbing to the wrong people at your company about your plans. Using colleagues who can recommend you and provide positive references to a new employer is an effective way to run a successful job search, but select wisely! If the person is a senior leader or human resources person, they may be obligated to disclose the information.

Sometimes what we expect to be “understood” — keeping information confidential — is anything but, so being very direct is the best course of action. If you want to share sensitive information, you need to first let the person know that it is confidential, and then ask if they are comfortable continuing. “Joe, I’d like to ask your help with a confidential situation, but I don’t want to put you in an awkward position at the company. I’d like to keep our conversation between us. Do you think we can make that happen? If not I understand, but I had to ask since this is really important.”

Your risk in sharing this information is, even if you choose not to leave, you will not be treated as a long-term employee anymore. You will be passed over for developmental opportunities or stretch assignments as the organization no longer sees you as fully on board. So be very cautious!

Need help navigating your way into a new position? Why not contact a talented recruiter? Our team of dedicated career professionals can help you make all the best decisions to maximize your chances of landing on your feet!