Advanced search

Was I unreasonable to apply for this job without telling my employers?

(34 Posts)
Lambbone Tue 22-Dec-15 14:37:37

First time on AIBU - be gentle!

At a recent appraisal the boss asked me if I was planning to stay at the organisation, and I said yes.

However, the weekend of the 12/13 Dec I was casually browsing online and came across the perfect sounding job for me. The deadline was the Monday. I threw together an application and submitted it in time. Got an invite to interview Tuesday, was interviewed Friday (took a day's leave) and was offered the job verbally that day.

In work yesterday I spoke to HR and dropped an email to the boss to explain the situation - not formally handing in my notice, which I won't do until I get the offer in writing. Got a very irritated email back from the boss saying that she would have appreciated a heads up especially bearing in mind our recent conversation. Boss wasn't rude at all, but clearly very irritated.

So was I unreasonable? I didn't think anyone told their employers that they were looking elsewhere, just in case it didn't work out and their loyalty was brought into question. And I wasn't really job hunting - just browsing in a fairly idle fashion. Was it unreasonable of me to have applied at all, having said that I was planning to stay?

Coffeethrowtrampbitch Tue 22-Dec-15 14:43:06

Yanbu. Your employers don't have a right to know if you are planning to leave, as long as you have given notice in line with your contract that is all you have to do.

Your boss is probably grumpy as she thought you lied to her- she deserved it, for asking such a nosey question, but perhaps if you email and explain how it happened, and at that point you didn't want to leave, it may make your remaining time there less awkward.

Talcott2007 Tue 22-Dec-15 14:51:00


You have done nothing wrong after all plans change! frankly this is the "heads up" for your boss - You have been up front in fact by telling your boss/HR at the earliest appropriate opportunity (I wouldn't have said anything until I had the offer in writing and was actually putting in my notice) You are of course entitled to apply for other jobs even if you are not actively seeking to leave your current one. I'm not looking to leave my company but if I came across my dream role of course I'd apply for it!

Good Luck in your new Job!

whois Tue 22-Dec-15 14:53:06


Never tell your employer you are job hunting until you have a formal offer!

DangerMouth Tue 22-Dec-15 14:54:41

Yanbu. Of course she'd like a heads up to make her life easier. I'd like to win the Euro millions! But sadly that's not how life works.

Good luck at the new job.

PumpkinPie2013 Tue 22-Dec-15 14:58:55

I appreciate it's different in different sectors but I personally wouldn't submit an application for another job without informing the principal and my line manager (I'm a teacher). The main reason being that references are taken up prior to interview in education because of safer recruiting and I wouldn't want to put someone down as a referee without informing them first.

I would maybe drop the boss an email just explaining how it happened so that they are aware that it was sudden rather than something you actively planned.

Good luck in your new job and congratulations grin

TheWitTank Tue 22-Dec-15 15:00:49

YANBU. I don't know anyone who has given an employer a "heads up" about their job hunt-and I've worked for a huge corporation in HR with a high turnover of new starters and leavers/temps. I wouldn't dignify it with a reply. Good luck with your new job!

Lambbone Tue 22-Dec-15 15:02:50

Thanks all. It will be a nuisance for her as I do a real mixture of stuff here, and they are trying to operate a recruitment freeze. But I'll put together plenty of information covering exactly what it is I do do.

I hope it won't affect my reference! (I asked new place to hold off until after interview)

bumblebeerat Tue 22-Dec-15 15:05:44

Yanbu I've never known anyone to tell their employer they are looking for another job. I had a similar thing happen recently as I was asked the same question in my appraisal, I just didn't take much notice of my bosses disapproval and I'm now happy in my new job. I always thought it seemed an unfair question to ask as it puts you in an awkward position.

Junosmum Tue 22-Dec-15 15:20:52

YANBU. I have always given my boss a heads up when applying for jobs, but that's because I've had very good relationships with my boss' and the applications have been for step up jobs which my boss has always been supportive of. If I'd found a role to apply for like you did I wouldn't have mentioned it, and don't see why you should have.

I'd say your boss being irritated is because she/ he doesn't want to lose a good employee.

QuadrupleL Tue 22-Dec-15 15:38:33

I am a teacher and it would be very unusual to NOT tell the Head and your line manager. I had no idea this was not the normal thing to do until someone in my department who started his teacher career with me but had worked in IT for years applied for another job without telling me - was quite surprised and a bit miffed when I got the reference request!

However, that is apparently how the rest of the working world works so YANBU It is just a shame that it was so soon after that convo!

BeanGirls Tue 22-Dec-15 16:04:10


HermioneWeasley Tue 22-Dec-15 16:11:18

No, perfectly normal to do this

Sometimes, if you have a really strong and mature relationship with your boss you can have a frank conversation about your career and whether the company can meet what you want. I have both done this and had people have this conversation with me, but usually people don't say beforehand

wasonthelist Tue 22-Dec-15 16:16:21

YANBU - but as Quad says, this seems very sector specific.

For every job I've ever had, the only thing telling a boss I was thinking of leaving would have done would either get me fired or ensure I wasn't given a rise or promotion.

I had a similar sniffy response to handing in my notice once. Within a couple of years the office was closed and everyone made redundant - so their "loyalty" did them loads of good.

MascaraAndConverse89 Tue 22-Dec-15 16:21:24

Yanbu. She should expect this to happen. You aren't leaving without working your notice I presume, so she has time to find someone else. The fact that they are having a "recruitment freeze" isn't your problem and you shouldn't put your life on hold to make your boss happy.

Itscliffmas Tue 22-Dec-15 16:37:32

As a manager I always appreciate when someone in my team gives me a heads up about this kind of stuff, it allows a bit of time to think about if I will recruit (replace) or if my succession plan covers the gap.

Did your manager put together a PDP at your appraisal? They may feel like this was a waste of their time if so.

I wish I would stumble across my dream job whilst browsing the web wink

Lambbone Tue 22-Dec-15 22:11:51

No, no pdp.

And yes, it was amazing to find this job!

Oysterbabe Tue 22-Dec-15 22:54:39

The only heads up my bosses get is my notice once I've accepted another job.

blueshoes Tue 22-Dec-15 23:37:38

I am feeling really bad. Just accepted a new job but staved off telling my boss until the year end bonus announcement which was today. My boss insisted that I call her to discuss my year end bonus and increment (good) but I did not tell her over the phone that I would be resigning by the end of the year.

Argh, she won't be pleased when I do. People will be out over this period and therefore I will most likely be giving the 'heads up' by email. But hey, I will be serving out the full notice and doing a proper handover.

The new job is a fantastic step up in terms of pay and title. Argh.

Lasaraleen Tue 22-Dec-15 23:42:31

You have given a heads up. I wouldn't have said anything until I had a formal offer in writing and was handing in my notice.

toffeeboffin Wed 23-Dec-15 01:47:45


However, you should have waited before you get your offer in writing before telling your employer.

I'm always surprised that people think they should tell their employer everything, it's your life, if you lie in an appraisal who cares! Believe me, they don't give a shiny shit about you, no matter what they say.

toffeeboffin Wed 23-Dec-15 01:48:56

P. S. Congratulations OPflowers

toffeeboffin Wed 23-Dec-15 01:50:47

FWIW in no way should it affect your reference, that's illegal.

Hissy Wed 23-Dec-15 07:26:35

When she asked the question, you answered truthfully, so don't give it a second thought. Business is business.

You think THEY would hesitate for a nano second if it came down to your job or their lifestyle?

Congrats on the new job!

MuttonWasAGoose Wed 23-Dec-15 07:34:40

If anything, you were BU to say anything without a written offer.
Once you have announced your intentions to leave, the company starts to plan for your departure.
I've also heard that to accept any counter offer to get you to stay is a mistake. The employer just wants to keep things on their terms. After the job offer has been turned down and your employer has had time to organise things to their liking, out you go. However, that may be more common in countries where firing employees is easier.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now