Some background, I'm an intern at a big company in the US. When I got my internship over a year ago, I did so with the understanding I'd get offered a job once I graduated. In the last few months, it's been made clear that getting a full time position is slim, and the only position available has dismal pay and isn't what I want to do. I started job searching and got offered a good job with a salary I would want. However, this position starts once I graduate, in January (2 months from now). My boss has been very helpful in trying to get me in to one of these full time positions, and has been asking about these positions often. How do I handle these questions? Do I tell them my plans to leave the company in January? I don't want my boss to end up looking foolish from trying to get me one of these positions, only for me to turn them down.

  • Do you have reasons to assume that you will be fired the moment you let your boss know that you already found a job somewhere else when your internship is over?
    – Philipp
    Nov 5, 2019 at 13:57
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    Interns leave - that's what's expected (an "understanding" is worth the paper it's written on). Definitely tell your boss you're looking elsewhere, do it in a way that gives them a chance to make you a better offer.
    – SQL Hacks
    Nov 5, 2019 at 13:57
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    Possible duplicate of Is it wrong to not update my boss about my plans to leave the company?
    – gnat
    Nov 5, 2019 at 15:04

2 Answers 2


Your boss could potentially find you a better position, so don't turn down a potential job because you believe it'll be worse. Potentially, the pay may be lower but have better benefits. Let your boss refer you to a potential position, and politely turn it down if it doesn't meet your expectations.

As far as your notice period goes, understand what you're required to give and give just that. If your contract requires a notice period, give your notice at the beginning of the appropriate time period. If it doesn't, then you can give the standard 2 weeks notice. If you don't believe your boss will respect your notice, you're free to quit without notice but may suffer a bad referral as a result. Some contracts simply expire without a renewal clause, in which case you don't need to give any notice.

  • 1
    I know I have a quarterly touch base with my boss in the coming weeks. If asked about the job search, do I tell the truth? I already accepted the job (I like the new company more for many reasons). I don't feel I'm in danger of being fired necessarily, but I've always heard it is unwise to give more notice than needed. Nov 5, 2019 at 14:51
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    That's up to you entirely. You have a new job lined up and telling the truth or glossing over it with your current manager won't hurt that. You can also say you've started looking for opportunities, but not necessarily say you've accepted
    – JRodge01
    Nov 5, 2019 at 14:57
  • Does the author even required a notice period? They are an intern and are currently a student, once they graduate, they are no longer a student. Since they are no longer a student they are likely no longer eligible to be an intern. If no job offer is extended, then it seems to me, the business relationship between intern and company has been completed.
    – Donald
    Nov 6, 2019 at 22:17

The best advice to keep your current position is to carry on as if everything is normal. Sure the boss may continue to try to land you a full time position at your present company and you can play along with that, however when the time of you internship comes to an end you can leave at will.

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