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  • Telling the boss

    First off, my apologies for what amounts to a duplicate thread. I ran a search and came up with this one which covers my question for the most part, however, the discussion is in the Ohio section.

    Anyway, here's my question prefaced with a few statements. I have a good relationship with my boss and I feel somewhat confident that my relationship with him and this job won't be negatively impacted by a discussion of my career endeavors with him. However, I still feel a little bit of apprehension or uncertainty as to whether or not I should actually discuss with him the fact that I've applied to a few police agencies. My question specifically is whether or not I should tell him prior to any conditional offer of employment or after?

    The issue is that I'm concerned with him finding out from a BI - as opposed to me - that I am seeking employment elsewhere. I feel that regardless of whether I get the job, he's going to find out. It was mentioned in the above-listed thread that many agencies offer you the option of waiting until you essentially have the job to complete the BI (the portion which requires talking to your current employer). However, one of the agencies I'm applying for requires you to fill out a waiver that releases them from any damages caused by contacting your employer during the BI. There's no place to specify whether or not you allow the discussion with your current employer, or to at least hold off. I respect the methods by which they conduct their BI and if there's no way around this, I feel that I have no other option but to discuss with my current boss the fact that I am looking for another job.

    I'm not really after suggestions on how to conduct the discussion with him, but rather, I need advice on whether I should wait or just go ahead with the discussion. Any advice or experiences with this issue would be very welcome. Thanks!
    John 3:3

  • #2
    This can be a dilemma for some applicants.

    When I first began applying, I worked for a company that routinely terminated its staff if they knew they were applying for a job elsewhere. I always added a note to my background package advising the department of that information and asking them to make my employer contact the last thing they did. It was never a problem.

    if you feel your job is in jeopardy, you might consider telling your boss that you are applying for a Reserve spot with the Department. In your boss's eyes, such a position should not pose a threat to your employment and if you ask nicely, I imagine your background investigator might play along.
    Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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    • #3
      One of the three agencies I've applied for so far followed up with me about a month ago on this exact topic. He said that they would hold off on contacting my current boss until near the end. The other agency, however, is the one I'm not 100% sure about yet. I suppose this will be something I will find out if I'm privileged enough to have the hiring process progress to that stage. There's also yet another agency I've just begun the hiring process with which I'm hoping will also work with me on this.

      I do not fear losing my job over a discussion about this, but there's still a level of uncertainty over what impact it might have. I prefer to be the one to "break the news" than for a BI to talk to him before I do.

      I guess a part of me wants my boss to know so that any time off I need to take doesn't need to be shrouded in mystery. I have no obligation to tell him why I'm taking time off, but historically, I've always told him. Also, there's the issue of any meetings or training that might occur with my current job that may or may not conflict with a step in the hiring process for a certain agency.

      I'll sleep on it a bit more but I find myself still leaning toward telling him before the BI.
      John 3:3

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      • #4
        Additionally, a lot has to do with the kind of boss you have.

        I always hated it when it looked like I was going to lose good officers to other agencies. But at the same time, I had to ask myself, "Am I supposed to reward hard work and good performance from my staff by screwing them in return and holding them back?"

        I always did the right thing,
        Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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        • #5
          If you have a good working reationship with your boss, you obviously wouldn't have asked the question. Like L-1 stated make a note or personally address your concerns with your BI. Honesty is the best policy; However, in this economy I feel your concern of losing one job and not getting the other.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by mikeymedic View Post
            If you have a good working reationship with your boss, you obviously wouldn't have asked the question.
            Haha, point taken. I really do have a good relationship with him. I guess I just want to weigh my options and be realistic. I've discussed sensitive topics with him such as promotions and raises with no awkwardness or animosity. My gut tells me that he will understand and throw his support behind me, but there's always that fear of the unknown. Asking for a raise and telling your boss that you're actively seeking employment elsewhere are two different things and I guess I just want to be careful.

            Perhaps what will "minimalize" or eliminate any animosity will be the fact that I'm not simply looking for a job in my current career field elsewhere, but that I want to do something entirely different. I would think that this would lessen the blow.

            Originally posted by mikeymedic
            Like L-1 stated make a note or personally address your concerns with your BI. Honesty is the best policy; However, in this economy I feel your concern of losing one job and not getting the other.
            I think on future applications, I will be sure to specifically make this note if the option isn't apparent to me. Thanks for the advice guys.
            John 3:3

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            • #7
              There's something else you need to think about. Civil Service hiring is a lengthy process. You are going to have to jump through a lot of hoops before anyone even remotely cares enough about you to talk to your boss.

              First you are going to have to pass the written and oral exams along with a physical agility test. Departments hire based on test scores. Highest score gets picked first, next highest score gets picked second. Your scores are going to have to be high enough to put you at the top of the list and they must have enough vacancies to make you reachable on that list. Only when you reach this point is anyone going to start doing your background and talk to your boss.

              All of this takes time. In a large agency it may take 12 to 24 months before your background starts and your employer is contacted. On top of that, the testing process is fairly tight. Of those people who apply for law enforcement jobs, only about 2% wind up being hired. Don't delude yourself that you are going to be the Golden Boy in the testing process and be hired in two months. It ain't gonna happen unless your live in Mayberry and Andy is your uncle.
              Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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              • #8
                Thanks L-1. I'm definitely aware that it may take quite some time to get hired on with an agency if at all. I'm anxious to get started, but I'm also not unrealistic. With one agency, I've completed the written, pat, and psychological. On another, I've completed the initial written and am waiting on the supplemental. And on yet another one, I'm going to take the written and pat this Saturday.

                Speaking of being Andy's relative, a funny thing about the Andy Griffith show is that it was revealed in the first few episodes that Barney Fife was Andy's cousin. After a few episodes, they totally abandoned that plot...I often wonder why they did that.
                John 3:3

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