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Benjamin Franklin said, “Three can keep a secret, if two of them are dead.” It’s hard to overstate the importance of keeping your job search private from your work colleagues.

Getting an interview can be exciting, especially if it goes well. If you’re dying to leave your company, the hope of a new job can leave you feeling both relieved and energized. And, the more interviews you have with one company, the better the chances are that you’ll get the job. Right?

Some of the reasons I’ve heard for sharing this job search secret include, “I know this person is my friend, so it’s okay.” “My boss and I are close; they won’t mind.” “My company needs to know I’m interviewing, so they’ll be prepared if I do leave. It’s the right thing to do.” “I want to see if my company will give me more money to stay.”

First, none of these reasons provide the personal benefit they appear to. They simply give away your power. And worse, they put your current job at risk.

When it comes to interviewing, nothing is a sure bet. Even if a company has talked to you ten times and is in love with you, the position may be put on hold for budgetary reasons. The hiring manager may leave, and the process may halt. The company could reorganize and the job may no longer be needed.

Until your offer is officially in writing and in your hands, there’s no offer. It could take you as long as a year or more to find a job. In the meantime, you still have bills to pay and a family to feed. Why would you put that in jeopardy?

Often, a boss you perceived to be your friend feels an obligation to let the company know you have disclosed this information to them. Even if they like you, your search may be perceived as being disloyal to the company. In the worst-case scenario, you may be fired and asked to leave immediately.

When it comes to asking for more money, keep this in mind. If you don’t have a written job offer, what incentive does your company have to give you a raise? They don’t. There’s no good reason they should offer you any more money just because you’ve been interviewing.

If you begin to tell colleagues about your search, don’t be surprised if the word gets around. People love to find something to talk about. If you share information about your search, you’re setting yourself up to become next. The last thing you want is for word to get back to your boss before you’ve found a job.

As exciting as it is to share about your job search, it’s 100 percent unwise to do so. You’ll set yourself up for failure that can be difficult to repair. When it comes to job searching, there’s no better alternative than to keep yours secret.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland


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