I work as a software engineer and have been at my company for almost 3 years now. I have recently started considering other opportunities outside of my current role. There isn't anything particularly wrong with my current role, but I just feel (after being at the company for 2 or so years) that the product doesn't interest me as it used to.
Recently a lot of people have been leaving my company and I believe it's for similar reasons and/or their own reasons for leaving. My company has been through some rough times in the last few years and there was a problem with people leaving the company at one point but it seems to have gotten better (not sure if relevant but could help explain things).
The topic naturally came up in our 1-on-1 about people leaving and he told me that I should feel comfortable letting him know if I want to leave and pursue other opportunities and that he would support whatever decision I made. A part of me feels like I want to tell him I am actively interviewing but at the same time I also don't want to throw myself under scrutiny if I can help it.
Is it common for management and employees to be open about whether they are looking for a new job or not? I guess to be more clear, if you are close to your manager, is it better to be open about the topic? To be clear, I feel I have decent relations with my current manager (not bad, but there are times where I have openly disagreed with him on things). I ask this question because given the number of people leaving, I wonder if he simply tells me this so he can find out if people are leaving within his team and if it would be professional or within my best interest to let him know.
EDIT: To clarify a common question people have been asking is what benefit do I foresee I will be getting by telling him? Not sure if my thought process was naive, but I thought that if my current boss supported me he could potentially give me a recommendation, as awkward as that might be, since he has a strong understanding of what I do. I've asked previous managers I have had to give me recommendations but those were jobs during school and the expectations were clear that the job was just temporary. Hope that helps clarify things.