I'm actively looking for a new job. I haven't told anyone at my company about this. Now my manager is pitching for my promotion (she asked me if I'm up for it and how could I say no?). I wouldn't like to stay even if I'm promoted.

Should I tell her that I'll be leaving shortly? I don't want to burn any bridges. On the other hand, if I'm promoted, I might be able to negotiate a higher pay with the new company.

  • 22
    Asok (Kumar) is also a character (intern programmer) in Dilbert comics
    – Alopex
    Commented Mar 12, 2019 at 13:57
  • 12
    @AsokKumar The real John Doe must have a heck of a time whenever he has to give ID.
    – DrMcCleod
    Commented Mar 12, 2019 at 13:59
  • 49
    NEVER tell a company you're leaving before you have your next contract in hand.
    – Mast
    Commented Mar 12, 2019 at 14:23
  • 8
    I used to work with an Asok Kumar. I wonder whether there are loads of Asok Kumars, throughout the world, whose bosses are now wondering whether they're about to quit. Commented Mar 12, 2019 at 19:23
  • 3
    Well, at least his name isn't Michael Bolton. That guy sucks.
    – davidbak
    Commented Mar 12, 2019 at 23:04

4 Answers 4


Should I tell her that I'll be leaving shortly?

No, you should just let things go as if nothing happened. After you have signed the new contract tell them that you are leaving.

Even more, as long as you do not have a contract signed, you cannot know when you will leave, shortly or not.

Otherwise, you risk that your future will not be very bright.

If they ask you why you did not tell them earlier, you just answer them that you did not know earlier, things just happened quickly. They cannot verify that.

And even if they ask for proof, you just tell them that they have to trust you.

On the other hand, if I'm promoted, I might be able to negotiate a higher pay with the new company.

One more reason to say nothing.

As explained elsewhere: when they will ask you why you leave, just tell that the new job suits better to your future development. Under no circumstances tell them the real reasons.

  • 52
    "And even if they ask for proof, you just tell them that they have to trust you." - Or you tell them that is none of their concern. Because it is not.
    – user100470
    Commented Mar 12, 2019 at 7:30
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    Recently I was in a similar situation with a company I was working for, in this case I knew that I would be leaving. I consulted one of my coworkers who reminded me that were the situation reversed, and the company knew something they didn't want to tell me that would affect my future, they would not tell me because they exhibit no loyalty to their employees. It was good advice, and I have appreciated it.
    – Mark
    Commented Mar 12, 2019 at 14:15
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    "Under no circumstances tell them the real reasons." <-- Or, don't tell the full reason. A better pay/work environment seems to be the real reason. Just don't say anything now. Don't go around lying and saying wild things like "I'm moving" or anything. Commented Mar 12, 2019 at 17:22
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    @Atizs please don’t use non-ascii characters to use different fonts. It impacts search-ability and screen reader usage. Instead use *text* to make things italic.
    – Tim
    Commented Mar 12, 2019 at 19:54
  • @Atizs Author specified they didn't want to burn bridges though.
    – Clockwork
    Commented Mar 12, 2019 at 20:07

Actively looking for a new job doesn't always mean that you will move on. Plenty of people go to the trouble of preparing themselves, interviewing, being offered roles & then deciding not to move.

So consider very carefully how you continue with your current employer. Until you have a job offer that you are delighted with you should try to maximise your career at your current employer right up to quitting. If your boss is pitching for a promotion for you, go with the process, work with her to achieve it - it can't hurt you going forward.

If you get a pay rise & a promotion this may help you with your next role - or even change your mind to stay with your current employer (understand why this may not look likely right now). But there are no downsides to working with your boss on a promotion. If you leave your boss may not want to work with you again - but that relationship will be damaged if you reject the promotion anyway.

Alternatively if you reject the opportunity to advance - what if your new role doesn't happen, or doesn't happen quickly? You are left with the worst of both worlds.

Go for both the the promotion & a new job at the same time.


The usual advice is not to divulge that you are looking for a new job, until you have a signed contract in your hand. And I think that applies here.

If you are on good personal terms with this person and you wish to keep it that way, you can simply tell them that your personal situation has changed, and for the moment you are not looking for a promotion.

If you don't really care too much, you can keep quiet. Note that you will almost certainly burn a bridge with that person. From their perspective, they will be going to a lot of effort to negotiate a promotion for you, only for you to leave.

In addition, it will appear to your managers superiors that your manager was aware of you job search, and was trying to entice you to stay.

While we would like to hope that your manager will show empathy for your situation, the simple fact of the matter is that it is unlikely.

Given that you have no inclination on hanging around, burning the bridge might be the most prudent approach in any case.


Did you look for related answers on this site? Because even before looking at existing answers I knew the folks here would say the same thing: Don't say anything. It's quite a pattern.

And they're right, of course. You don't owe them anything. (Unless you knew nothing and they literally taught you everything you know; this would be arguable.)

I don't want to burn any bridges. I see a lot of this here as well. But you did burn a bridge. So if you plan to leave don't accept the promotion. Someone else more worthwhile to the company could be willing to take it.

If you want to part on good terms, don't say you plan to leave, but also don't make the employer think it's all good, when it's not. Tell them you reconsidered and don't want any additional responsibilities at this time. Two, four or six weeks in this new position wouldn't make a difference to a good company. If some company hires you because of this, be assured it's not somewhere worthwhile.

  • 1
    I disagree with the statement about OP not accepting the promotion. OP has been offered a promotion exactly because the company believes that they are worth that much. They will be worth that much all the while until they leave, nothing changes that. And when that happens the new position will be free for another employee. And whether it would make a difference or not fully depends on what the position is and what is the state of the company.
    – Fanatique
    Commented Mar 13, 2019 at 8:53
  • @Fanatique OP seeks to not burn any bridges. How would you do that and taking a promotion at the same time? I propose not taking a promotion he doesn't wants. It's not a game where you lose if you don't take advantage of others for once. Commented Mar 13, 2019 at 21:05
  • @Fanatique often times promotions are issued with the understanding that there is significant ramp up time in the new role and time for personal growth. In that case it would be pretty off putting for the employer.
    – Magisch
    Commented May 17, 2019 at 11:53

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