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I am currently working at an agency as a developer. I have been applying to positions for the last few months (including turning down an offer that I didn't feel was a good fit).

Until recently, I was one of two developers working in my particular department. However, two weeks ago the other developer was killed in a car crash.

I don't want to leave my employer in a bind: however, they are currently dragging their feet on hiring another employee. I think they are hoping that I can handle the workload myself (I can short term, but definitely not long term).

Do I need to let them know that I am considering other options so they look more seriously?

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Do I need to let them know that I am considering other options so they look more seriously?

No. You never need to let your employer know you are considering leaving.

Once you have found a new job, formally accepted an offer and set a start date, then you should give the appropriate notice. (In many locales, even then you don't need to give notice, although it's good practice to do so).

Telling your employer that you are "considering other options" might put you at risk of being let go immediately. Or it might very well mean that anything you do will be scrutinized extremely carefully. You may not be given good assignments. Certainly, you will be treated as a short-timer.

And you don't know how long it will take you to find a new job, or if you will change your mind and stick around.

Keep it to yourself until the time comes to give your notice.

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    I can't stress this enough: DO NOT give even a hint that you're considering another job or even looking into the possibility of leaving. I've seen people fired on the spot and marched out the door for telling their employer that they were looking elsewhere. – DLS3141 Jul 25 '17 at 12:15
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Until recently, I was one of two developers working in my particular department. However, two weeks ago the other developer was killed in a car crash.

I would imagine that your co-worker being killed in such a traumatic way - and only two weeks ago, to boot - is having a profound impact on everyone at your company. Your bosses included. I'm sure it's also having an impact on you, if you and he were the only two developers on the team.

They know they need to hire someone else, but they also need time to process and grieve, just like everyone else. If you can handle the workload in the short-term, then do what you can to keep things running smoothly for now. If it starts to be too much, then by all means prod them and remind them that you can't do this alone. Maybe start rounding up possible references from your own network, to make things easier (and hey, working with someone you already know!)

If you want to bail, I would certainly agree with Joe that you shouldn't notify them until you have a new job lined up, nor are you obligated to do so in any way. However, before jumping ship, consider that the current circumstances are far from normal, and things may not be as bad as they seem after some time has passed and people get back to their usual routines.

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Their lack of planning is not your fault. Their wrong-headed desire to give you two people's worth of work is an extra incentive to leave. you were even looking before this all happened, so go ahead and find your job.

In the meantime, do what you can to make it easier for your replacement to get started. Documentation and unit tests can go along way towards helping someone else pick yup where you left off. AS long as you still work there, so the best job you can do.

While you still work there, do not tell your manager you are looking. However remind him daily that you cannot absorb the other person's work long-term and that they need to hire a replacement. Point out that if you were in an accident or got sick, they would have no one. This is a serious risk for any company and they need to be made aware that it cannot continue because they want to save salary costs.

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Best solution as I see could be to outsource some job tasks. Few years back when I worked for one agency in a capital, one of competitive agencies ended up short for one employee so they outsourced few job tasks to my agency and my boss. It is a short term solution but it works. So maybe instead off pulling the trigger, you could sit with your superiors and openly speak about the issue and offer the possible solution until they find someone.

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