3 Ways Your Boss Can Tell You're Looking for a Job

You might think that you're successfully keeping your job hunt on the down low, but according to a column Ruth Mantell posted today at MarketWatch, you may be missing a few key steps. These telltale signs of a jobseeker might tip off your boss to your exit strategy.

  • Digital breadcrumbs. New LinkedIn connections that happen to be recruiters, frequent resume updates and brand-new recommendations all signal to your boss that you're paying close attention to marketing yourself. It's best to make small changes over an extended period; ideally, your online profiles are always kept fresh.
  • Distancing yourself. Remain social and don't avoid water cooler talk just because you're hoping to land a new job. "You don't want to burn bridges," etiquette expert Diane Gottsman advised. "You want to make sure you leave in good standing."
  • Work ethic changes. "When you see someone volunteering a lot, or doing a lot of outside projects, that tells me they are interested in something other than their job that can lead to new opportunities," explained human resources consultant Laurie Ruettimann. Other behavior to watch out for during the workday? Complaining about the work or boss, constantly stepping out to take phone calls, and letting your work quality suffer.

Managers, what are some other telltale signs that an employee is looking for a new job?

More From PayScale

Why You Shouldn't Use 'Mad Men' Characters as Workplace Role Models [infographic]

How Do Social Media Restrictions Influence Employee Productivity?

Which Country's Young Professionals Exhibit the Riskiest Tech Behavior? [infographic]


(Photo credit: Alan Cleaver/Flickr)


  1. 3 nameless 22 Feb
    "Work Ethic Changes", I don't know bout that one but at my place of work, our dept. in particular, our boss actually wants us to volunteer all year long, to as many events as possible, after work as well as weekends. For no pay of course. That is besides the events that we already have throughout the year & are paid for. Those of us who don't are looked down upon and made to feel 'left out & inadequate'. A raise is certainly out of the question. I don't recall the last year I got one. Yes, it's been that long.
  2. 2 ashish 30 Dec
    I will wait for '3 ways you can tell your boss is looking for you to quit' and I can say that if you experiment doing the ones listed here in this article, you can list those by examining your boss's reactions.
  3. 1 No Spam 10 Jul

    Had to laugh when I saw the photo with the woman half "out the door" watching the clock strike 4:57 pm. At my last employment, nearly everyone did this. It was the one or two of us who were busy enough to work to the hour and many times a few minutes past that got the axe when things slowed down. Generalisms are nice ... but keep a grain of salt handy, eh! LOL


  1. Please prove to us that you're not a robot:

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

Comp Managers: Start Here »