I recently received a job offer contingent upon professional references being verified. The offer is good I am very interested in taking the job.
There is one issue, the HR person is insisting that I use references from my present employer. This may be a reasonable request since this my current position is my first position since graduating from college. I provided her with two academic references but she said that was not sufficient.
We now have a chicken and egg problem. I want to accept the position but don't feel comfortable putting in my notice until I have a concrete offer. The HR rep says that she can't make me a concrete offer until she has verified my references which requires me putting in my notice.
I am hesitant to leave my current position, before securing something else but I am not really sure how to proceed. So far I have mentioned that I feel uncomfortable with the arrangement but haven't really dug in my heels.
I don't have anything to hide but this seems like a situation where I could get screwed. What happens if my boss is angry at me for leaving and doesn't want to give me a good reference? What happens if my boss gives me a great reference but the job offer disappears for reasons not transparent to me?
Just to make sure there is a concrete question here that can be properly answered using the Stackexchange format, my question is: How should I handle a job offer that is conditional upon references from my present position?