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Is your superior your friend?

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Drip, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    This is a spinoff a jobs thread that had many people going. I decided to throw it out there.
    The question is whether you should tell a superior if you are looking for new employment. My argument is no because it's a personal decision and in some cases, gives the supervisor leverage.
    Others have said yes because it's the proper thing to do.
    What's your take?
  2. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

    In most cases, it doesn't make sense until you have something else pretty much locked in. At that point you can use it as leverage to negotiate a better deal with your current employer.
  3. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Good question, Drip. I suppose it depends on a lot of factors. I've been friends with my superiors in this business at every stop - probably too close with them, but this is a business that lends itself to that. My first-stop editor knew I was kind of perpetually looking, but it was just that kind of place. A traditional stepping stone paper, if you will. My second-stop editor knew that I was pretty geographically limited, but would go to the nearby big city if the opportunity ever presented itself.* A lot of that seems to come up in the initial job interview: "What are your career goals?" I imagine it gets a little dicier at destination jobs.

    * It did not. Not yet anyway.
  4. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    If your superior risked his/her own job for yours, you can likely be OK with sharing info on where you interview. If that's not the case, then you only need to look out for yourself. The bourgeoise will tell you that you have an obligation, but they are just looking out for themselves as well.

    What't the harm in not telling? You'll just get an ice glare when you turn in your notice anyway.
  5. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    In a lot of cases, your superior might have contacts in the business and actually be able to help connect you to the next step.
  6. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    How is this different from the thread where this has been discussed and discussed and discussed? We need another one because??

    My feelings are clear - if you have the relationship you should with your boss, be straight. If you don't, don't. But as Dick noted, we bosses can sometimes help. If someone busts their ass for me and truly thinks moving on is their best option, I'll do everything I can to help

    That doesn't make me a friend or not a friend. That makes me a fair boss to employees who are fair to me.
  7. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    Until my current situation, which is kind of different on every level, I generally wouldn't advocate saying anything until at least an in-person interview. Then again, as I look back, I'm not sure I've followed my own advice. First two jobs, I was pretty friendly with the bosses. Third job, I had a family situation come up and they knew I was looking to get closer to home. Fourth job, we're ALL looking and have permission to use company time/property to do so.

    So ... long story short, ignore me. :D
  8. J-School Blue

    J-School Blue Member

    I went through a large lay-off (53 employees in all) about six months ago (back working now, new job) and part of our severance was an afternoon at a "reemployment" seminar. It was far less useless than I figured it would be, lots of focus on getting informational interviews and distribution of contacts with local temp agencies and contracting firms. It also became fairly informal as the day went on, as it was basically this old seminar leader, me and another half-dozen or so of my ex-coworkers.

    One stat the "reemployment" guy told us has really stuck with me. He said most employers are - ideally - aiming to keep somebody in a job for 2-3 years when they hire them. That's all. That's the average in the US now. I was surprised by how short that seemed, until it occurred to me I'd been in my old position for almost exactly 37 months. Just one month over the 3-year mark.

    Obviously many people hold jobs quite a bit longer than that, and I'm sure there's some inclusion in that statistic for folks who change job titles within a company and move on of their own accord. Still, that's what they want. 2-3 years. And that's, barring an exceptional circumstance, as much security as an employee can expect.

    The bottom line of all that is, why shouldn't an employee look when opportunites comes up, given that they can't expect long-term security from most employers anymore? Not to mention a decent worker will, at minimum, give a boss two weeks notice. We were laid off in a pretty "ideal" situation (severance, assistance from HR getting our benefits, 401k and unemployment sorted out), and still were out the door in one day with no prior warning (except informal rumor mill stuff, of course).

    Ideally your superior is someone who'll give you respect and support, but you're not in a situation where you can expect them to be your friend, and you shouldn't feel obligated to be theirs.
  9. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    A lot depends on the relationship with your superior. Generally speaking, I don't socialize with superiors. People I socialize with are my friends and I pick my friends. Superiors are people, who I respect for being in their position, but keep at a distance. It's not that I have anything against them but they are just that, my superior. I don't see any harm in that.
    I had a buddy get married a while back and his superior asked him why he didn't receive an invitation to the wedding. My buddy's reply was, "I wanted my friends at the wedding." The superior had a hard time understanding that answer.
  10. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    As corporations are considered people, we shouldn't hurt their feelings in the job hunt process.
  11. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    My first supervisor at my current job (the one who hired me) took me to a Cavs NBA Finals game on his season tickets, so he's a friend. The two since I get along with just fine and can sit around and drink with. We don't have much of a relationship outside of work, but we could. Plus we are all Facebook friends.

    I suppose I should read what question is actually asked instead of what is written in the thread title. I don't know if I would tell my supervisor I am interviewing for other positions. I have plenty of other references, so don't need that. On the other hand, I'm pretty sure there would be no actions taken against me for interviewing, so that's not a concern. I probably would just keep it to myself. I did tell one previous boss at a different job that I had an interview somewhere. He was the one I would rank last on the list of those who were my friends, but I was still friendly with him. Didn't affect anything.
  12. Rockbottom

    Rockbottom Well-Known Member

    Think I referenced this on the other thread, but I have always been friendly with my superiors -- and thus have always respected them enough to clue them in. And I expected the same from my peeps. Why? Because I would CONSTANTLY be an advocate for them individually and for what was best for the section. I would argue with MY bosses so THEY could do more.

    But hey, I am out of the business now, so what do I know?

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