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For some background, my team lost a member earlier this year, and so was folded into an existing team that does the same thing. My old team leader is still officially my boss and the other team still has its own leader as well, but we are one workgroup in practice.

Recently, a senior member of the other team moved on to greener pa$ture$ and left an empty senior-level spot behind him, which management has just opened up for applications. I applied the day the e-mail went out, but haven't told my team leader nor the leader of the other team.

One of my concerns is that I might not get the position and be branded or smeared as "not a team player" by my still-current boss, which could be reflected when reviews and bonuses come out, and if/when we get more people and are broken off into our own team again.

Is it impolite not to inform my coworkers of my applying for this position, or should I only say anything if I get it?

  • If you got the position would you end up leap-frogging your current boss? – corsiKa Aug 25 '17 at 18:44
  • The position is under both his and the other team leader's titles ("senior developer" versus "development lead"), so I wouldn't be leap-frogging either of them. I'd just be swapping bosses by joining the other team (but still effectively be in the same workgroup) and getting a higher title than I have now. – user76112 Aug 25 '17 at 19:21
  • If you would still be under the team leads, then one would probably assume they not only already know you applied, but will have some input into if you get the position or not. Other members of the team do not really need to know unless you get the position, especially considering you may be in competition with one or more of them for the spot. – dlb Aug 25 '17 at 21:16
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What can be gained if you tell them? I can't think of anything.

On the other hand, if you do tell them you run the risk of alienating people for making their job harder or speculating on why you're wanting to leave. The bigger problem is that if you don't get it and some on your team have negative feelings, it will be awkward from that point.

Things like this are almost always best kept quiet until they're absolutely certain.

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