Should I tell my boss which firm I will join?

recruiting
New answer on Jun 12, 2020
8 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on May 24, 2020

Hi, I'd like to seek advice on a troublesome situation:

Long story short, I didn't get along with my line manager and I was laid off. After a few months, I got an offer from a firm, but the firm wants me to get a referral letter from my previous company, so I asked the line managers' boss (partner) to do this favour. My relationship with him was okay, but not too close.

Today I met a senior partner, who is even more senior than my line manager's boss, and she asked me which firm I will join. Although I'm reluctant to share the information, I still gave her the answer because she could easily know by asking the partner who helped with my reference check.

My concern is, I was laid off by my previous firm and my previous line manager was unhappy about my performance. I am planning to meet with several ex-colleagues for coffee chats to farewell since I will be moving to another location nearby. It's highly possible that I will bump into these ex-colleagues again, given that some of the clients are overlapping (but providing different services).

My concern is I don't want people to badmouth me to my new employer before I have even started the job. Given that 2 most senior partners already know where am I going, should I let other colleagues know which firm will I join? What would be some good ways to avoid giving out this information?

Thanks.

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Andrea
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replied on May 24, 2020
Ex-Mckinsey | Received offers at McK, BCG, Bain, OW, RB | Helped 100+ candidates receive offers

As a rule of thumb, it's always better not to publicly disclose where you're heading next, especially before you receive an official job offer, but also afterwards. The reason is very simple: you've got nothing to gain, but a lot to lose (according to your specific situation).

Having said that, I wouldn't worry too much about your former employer "bad-mouthing" about your performance with your new employer: honestly, people (especially partners and senior partners) are busy and have more important topics to discuss than the performance of a junior colleague.

A good way to avoid answering, if you're asked this type of questions directly, is saying something along the lines of "I'm sorry and I don't mean to be unpolite, but I was advised to not talk about this until I officially start. I hope you can understand" - most people will not insist further.

Hope that helps.

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Ian
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replied on May 24, 2020
BCG | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi,

I agree with Andrea.

You shouldn't worry about badmouthing...people have more important things in their lives than to worry about ruining yours.

Additonally, I personally wouldn't feel weird about telling people (if they ask). That being said, treat it as a case-by-case basis. If you feel like answering their question, do so. If not, I like Andrea's approach.

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Anonymous replied on May 25, 2020

Dear A,

In general, I would rather advise you to keep this information in confidence. So no need to explicitly to tell to all your colleagues. The fact that partner and senior partner know where are you heading to, it's already enough. To another colleges you can tell that you are going to one of the competitors and this will be visible on your LinkedIn profile after you approbation period is over. And also, ask them also for understanding of this.

Also try not to speak too much about this topic and simply be careful in your transition situation. After your approbation period, it will not matter what your previous colleagues are talking or thinking about you. I wish you best of luck in your career transition.

If you need any advice on how to make this move successful, feel free to reach out, and I'm happy to share my experience with you.


Good luck,
André

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Emily
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replied on May 25, 2020
BCG Project Leader | 3+ years interview experience for BCG SEA recruiting | Kellogg MBA, NTU, Peking University

Agree with Andrea and Ian that the partner and senior partner are not very likely to bad-mouth you or even spread the info. They might just want to know where you are going and whether your new company could be a potential client.

As per other ex-colleauges, don't feel bad to tell people that "I will tell you later after I start". It is very common, and nothing odd about it.

best,

Emily

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Anonymous replied on Jun 12, 2020

Hello,

in most cases former employers with whom it did not go well does not enjoy saying bad things for the sake of harm.

If the mood was right, you don't have to worry. And you can ask someone else to refer you , not necessarily directly the person with whom it did not go well.

Best

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Robert
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replied on May 25, 2020
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Hi Anonymous,

It's understandable that this situation is of concern to you - however I strongly believe that your encounter with the senior partner won't have a negative influence for 2 main reasons.

1) They have busy lifes and your career move will be out of the conscious mind by now, probably already when they focused on their next task at hand immediately after your meeting.

2) I don't see any personal gain or advantage that badmouthing would give the senior partner - so why should he do that at all? (apart from ethical concerns)

Hope that helps - if so, please be so kind and give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!

Robert

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Francesco
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replied on May 25, 2020
#1 Expert for Coaching Sessions (3.700+) | 1.300+ Reviews with 100% Recommendation Rate | Ex BCG | 8+ Years of Coaching

Hi there,

thanks for sharing your story. I agree with Andrea that it would be safer not to reveal where you are moving yet to other colleagues. You don’t have a confirmed offer yet, thus you would not be lying saying you are still in the process with some options.

Best,

Francesco

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Clara
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replied on May 25, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

No way the seniors are going to bad-mouth about you with others, they just can´t be bothered. Furthermore, they were not the ones who had an issue with you.

For the rest, don´t worry too much, since even if they do, should not impact you. In any cse, don´t feel forced to tell them where you are going. Say you are still deciding.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Andrea gave the best answer

Andrea

Ex-Mckinsey | Received offers at McK, BCG, Bain, OW, RB | Helped 100+ candidates receive offers
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