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Is it acceptable to divulge to clients and colleagues in partner companies intent to change jobs before your own company is privy to that intent?

Note:

  • There is no at-will employment in the country in question. E.g. there is no threat of termination.
  • It would be acceptable in the US. Your rules may be different. Remember that the customer may tell your employer before you do, which could be awkward. – keshlam Oct 3 '16 at 12:07
  • You might tell a few personal friends, or coworkers whom you want/need to act as your references, but otherwise no, it's very unprofessional. – AndreiROM Oct 3 '16 at 13:38
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In a word, no. Telling a client or partner that there is going to be a change in the personnel they are dealing with is something which must be handled by your employer. This lets them manage the process so that they can ensure the client/partner continues to receive the service they need from your employer; by going in and saying "I'm leaving" or even "I'm thinking about leaving" will naturally lead to the client/partner becoming concerned about the continuity of the business relationship, particularly if you are a critical part of the relationship.

There is no at-will employment in the country in question. E.g. there is no threat of termination.

You may say that; in at least some circumstances, I would regard this as misconduct in which case there would be a threat of termination in almost any jurisdiction. Even if there is not a direct threat of termination, actions like this are going to mean that you're at the top of the list to be made redundant as you're clearly not committed to your current employer.

  • Excellent answer. This question originally stemmed from a question that asked whether or not it would be acceptable to "give the impression" of but not actually formulate the intent (so there would be room for deniability). Could you by any chance comment on that scenario as well, as saying "I'm thinking about leaving" is not quite on the same level. – Adam Jensen Oct 3 '16 at 12:22
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    @AdamJensen - that's still very unprofessional, and many clients would take it poorly. If, however, you dropped a hint to a friend over lunch that's a different story. Just make sure that this "friend" won't start spreading rumors, or go tell management. – AndreiROM Oct 3 '16 at 13:40

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