Background: My wife and I are looking to relocate to another state for family reasons, and we have both been looking for employment in the area we want to move to. Currently, we both work for different companies in different fields, but our respective direct managers are married. This becomes an issue if one of us gets an offer that we decide is worth pursuing, before the other is ready to wrap it up and move as well. Ideally, we would both be able to start at the same time, but that seems highly unlikely at this point.

The question is: How do we leave one of our jobs without forcing the other to unofficially hand in their two weeks when our bosses are so close?

As of now, it seems to me like there is no way to avoid it and if there is an offer, the best we can do is keep it hush and delay the start dates as long as possible while the other doubles down on the job hunt.

  • Im missing something here. If you both move to a new location, wouldnt both of you resign at the same time? – Keltari Dec 31 '18 at 21:26
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    @Keltari The issue is that we aren't guaranteed employment in the new location at the same time, so one might be at the old location for a bit longer while they job search in the new location. It would be preferable if they could maintain their previous job during that search, as it might take longer than desired. – FenjaminMutton Dec 31 '18 at 21:30
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    @FenjaminMutton ahhh. that makes more sense. – Keltari Dec 31 '18 at 21:36
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    @Abigail Everything you asked is already answered in the original post or comments. – FenjaminMutton Jan 1 '19 at 18:44
  • There was a similar question a few months ago. In that case, both partners were employed at the same company, and one left a few months before the other intended to. They were moving across the US states. Unfortunately, I can't find it at present – CSM Jan 2 '19 at 17:57

It seems like the issue would only come up if you gave your actual reason for leaving the job (because you plan to move away). Neither of you needs to explain this when you submit your notice. If someone asks for an explanation (which is likely), you can say something else, like

"I need a break or a change of scenery/pace/type of job".

It also isn't necessarily a problem if one boss finds out early. The deal isn't "we'll fire you unless we think you'll work here for the rest of your life", it's "we'll pay you as long as you produce valuable work for us". Knowing that you'll be leaving some time in the next year doesn't mean they'll fire you immediately, it just means that they'll get, at most, another year's work out of you at the job.

From that perspective it might even be better to give each employer a timeline, so that they can allocate projects to people that will be around to work on them. This may or may not work well in one or both of your workplaces, so I'm not necessarily suggesting that you both tell your bosses right away.

The secrecy might be nice in a variety of situations, but it may not be as critical an issue as you are imagining.

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  • To add a bit of clarity, our friend group includes both bosses, so hiding the new job would include hiding the absence of myself or my wife from the entire group. – FenjaminMutton Dec 31 '18 at 19:04
  • @FenjaminMutton So, to clarify, would you and your spouse be moving to your new location separately, over some period of time? – Upper_Case Dec 31 '18 at 19:05
  • Yes. It wouldn't be a long amount of time, but I'd like to keep working and maintain an income in the time gap in case there is an issue with hiring. – FenjaminMutton Dec 31 '18 at 19:09
  • @FenjaminMutton Hmm... That doesn't change my answer. That you won't work for the company forever doesn't mean that you will be immediately fired, so I'm still not sure that the boss(es) finding out would be a catastrophe. Honesty and being upfront might be the right move here-- you can give as much notice as you'd like, after all. The social situation is distinct from the job situation, but if you're open to being... "creatively honest" about all of this in the first place it seems to me that similar approaches would work for both. If you're open to honesty, then the social part fixes itself. – Upper_Case Dec 31 '18 at 19:37
  • I appreciate the answer you provided and agree that honesty probably is the best policy here. If the lag behind one of us joining the other is truly as short as we hope, I suppose it won't be a huge of a deal as I expected. – FenjaminMutton Dec 31 '18 at 19:43

As of now, [when] there is an offer, the best we can do is keep it hush and delay the start dates as long as possible while the other doubles down on the job hunt.

You're probably correct.
The only useful thing I have to add to this is that the person receiving the offer should reveal this situation before asking for the extension.

Asking to push your start date without saying why, may lead them to believe that the person receiving the offer is not excited about the offer they just received (maybe s/he is waiting on another offer but will take this one if something else doesn't pan out).

Another thing to think about is that once you use either of your current boss's as your reference the cat is out of the bag.

This is less tricky since you have revealed that both bosses are in your friend group. I expect they would understand and you would worry less about them knowing because they will want what's best for you - you'll have to be the judge of that though.

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    The start date extension reasoning is a great point I hadn't thought about, thank you. – FenjaminMutton Dec 31 '18 at 19:06

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