About a month ago, I found an internal job that looked interesting but was in a different group than my current job. Per company policy I had to get approval from my manager before I applied, they said it would be no problem.

So I applied, but they had already filled the position.

Fast forward a month, I am in a monthly sync up with my manager and the first thing he says is, "You find a new job yet?"

This could be playful banter, but it could also be a clue that something is coming up.

Am I reading into it too much?

Edit: Question is how should I respond in the future, and should I be looking for a new job even if it was playful banter (although seemingly bpassive agressive)

  • 2
    Somewhat related: How to respond if boss asks if I'm looking for a new job (I wouldn't recommend the advice given in the top-voted answer, unless you're also looking outside of the company) Commented Mar 22, 2018 at 16:48
  • Asking how to respond to it would probably make for a more on topic question. We can't tell you whether you're reading too much into it, because we don't know what your manager is thinking. Commented Mar 22, 2018 at 16:52

2 Answers 2


When you applied to the internal posting, you effectively told your manager, "I am not interested in working on this team anymore." You've put yourself in a corner and either need to actually find a new job or convince your manager you're not looking for a new job.

It's perfectly natural for your boss to assume you will continue looking for other opportunities inside (or outside) the company.

If you are looking for those other opportunities, up your effort. The clock is ticking on your current role. You told your manager you plan on leaving, he's not going to be considering you for any "good" work that comes up.

If you are not looking for those other opportunities, you need to talk to your manager ASAP. You need to explain what about that other role was appealing and any realistic ideas you have to improve your current role, and you need to convince him that you are committed for the long haul. If you cannot do the latter, you have little choice but to start looking for other positions, because you're not going to get opportunities to stretch yourself or take on new, exciting projects, or do any of the other things that lead to growth and promotion (because your manager isn't expecting you to still be there much longer).

  • It is relatively easy to explain you applied to this job because it sounded interesting, and still express to this person you are happy in your position, even happy employees can sometimes want more.
    – Donald
    Commented Mar 23, 2018 at 12:36

Most likely the manager is just trying to understand your plans. If you leave—and they already know you’re interested in leaving—then the manager has work to do: figuring out how to cover the work you’re doing, who to assign to upcoming work, and possibly opening a replacement position for your spot.

This is not an unusual question for a manager to ask an employee that’s indicated they may be leaving.

  • 3
    Indeed. Perhaps the OP didn't make it clear that he was only applying to this one job as a target of opportunity, and now having lost the bid, he's perfectly happy to stay where he is.
    – Steve-O
    Commented Mar 22, 2018 at 17:12

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .