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I've been working on the same contract for the past two years. The client is starting to shift their mission and objectives, and I believe that my skills could be better applied elsewhere--so, I began my job search.

My same contracting agency (Leidos or Booz Allen, for example) has a vacancy on a different contract, with a different project manager (PM). I am very interested in this position, and want to get more information about the role/ see if I would be a good fit.

Problem 1: The PM at the prospective contract is friends with my current PM, and I fully expect that they will be in communication the instant my resume shows up on her desk.

Problem 2: I really don't want to discuss this prospective with my current manager, until I have a firm grasp on the new job requirements/ see if I would be a good fit.

So, who do I talk to first?

My current PM--saying "Hey, I'm interested in a different position, so be aware that you might get a call from X."

The new PM--saying, "Hey, I'm interested in your vacancy. I want to get some more information about it, before I bring [my current PM] into the mix, and cause unnecessary stir."

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    @MapMan - Is your PM your point of contact for the company or do you have another point of contact? IE if you have a general problem or question that is not about the project who would you go to? – IDrinkandIKnowThings Aug 21 '17 at 18:29
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    If you have an official agency manager/recruiter/lead (separate from this client/project) you should speak to that person first. The PMs may not have your best interests in mind. – mcknz Aug 21 '17 at 18:37
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    @mcknz - That is where i was heading but wanted to edit the detail into the question rather than having it in the comments that might get removed. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Aug 21 '17 at 18:43
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    @mcknz I was able to speak with the agency recruiter first (she has my best interest in mind). She is the one who offered the dichotomy: talk to my current PM, or talk to the new PM. – Map Man Aug 21 '17 at 18:54
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    Don't inform. Even though you're informing, don't make it look like you are. You want to discuss it with him and get his opinion and see what he thinks. The more subordinate you act (whether you feel it or not) the more positive he's likely to respond. Is it manipulative? A little. But that's business. – Chris E Aug 21 '17 at 19:15
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So, who do I talk to first?

I would talk or write to your current PM first, as you say in comments that he is what you could call your boss. He may be surprised if he finds out by other means that you are seeking another project, so it is safer to give him a heads up. Then I would proceed to approach your prospect PM and inquire about the job opportunity.

As you say it is the same contractor but different projects, I suppose it could be the case that your current PM may even assist you to switch projects when you approach him. Making it easy to terminate your current contract and resume a new one with the new PM.

However, to be realistic, have in mind that it can also be the case that you are instantly terminated when approaching your current PM asking for a new contract, leaving it fully up to you to get the new contract with the other PM. It is up to you to decide if it is worth the risk, or knowing better your PM if this is a concern you should have.

Edit: Your edit now indicates that you were contracted through an agency. Therefore, I consider you should approach your agency first and explain them the situation. They will surely give you more relevant information on how to proceed, as they are in the power to contact your prospect PM indicating you are interested in their job.

Also, be really careful, as you may be subject to a contract of some sort with your Contracting Agency, preventing you from doing things like working directly with their clients after being terminated or having to notice them before you decide to quit. You should clear these things out with them first, before deciding how to proceed with your new contract.

  • I would agree with the option to contact the agency first. I plan on giving them my information, and let them decide on my placement. – Map Man Aug 21 '17 at 18:58

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