Hi Lifehacker, I am currently in my first job out of university and recently I’ve been thinking about looking for a new job. All of my references from before this job are from employment during high school and university. Is it appropriate to use my current boss as a referee, and to ask for a reference from them? Thanks, Cross-Referenced
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If you’re not happy at your current place of employment, by all means ask for a reference. Your boss might not be too happy about it, but it’s not like he can fire you. In fact, many employers prefer a heads-up to being blindsided, as it means they aren’t unprepared when you hand in your resignation.
Your safest bet is a written reference. That way you can review the contents instead of naively trusting in a phone conversation. I learned this the hard way many years ago: after a string of unsuccessful job applications, I discovered my manager had been falsely slagging me off in a bid to keep me in a difficult-to-fill position. What a blaggard.
If you suspect that your boss is the vindictive sort, perhaps refrain from mentioning referees on your resume at all — as we have noted in the past, you only need to include this information if the job ad specifically asks for it. If not, leave it out.
Another option is to speak with your boss about the possibility of advancement or re-employment in a different role. Ask whether there are any other opportunities in the business you might be able to apply for. Generally speaking, most businesses are keen to hold onto hardworking employees and will be willing to negotiate to keep them on board.
We’re also going to throw this one over to our readers: if any managers are reading, what approach do you prefer when an employee starts looking for a new job? Share your opinions in the comments section below.
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