If you’re looking for a new job, who have you told? More importantly, who should you tell? Is this a conversation you should have with your co-workers, or should you keep your search personal and confidential? Professionals will give you all kinds of advice, but here is what we think about opening up this can of worms on the job.

Do You Trust Them?

Do you trust your co-workers and if so, how much? This is something that is cumulative based on shared experiences. How far back does your working relationship go? Have you confided in them in the past and had that information stay between just the two of you? If they are someone you can trust to keep a secret, they may be a great confidant for you to bounce job search ideas off of while you’re looking. They can also help you with a fresh perspective. If you don’t think you can trust them, just keep quiet.

Could They Help You?

One thing you may consider when talking about your new job search with co-workers is whether or not they can help you as you search for something new. They may have connections at other companies, networking information, and industry knowledge that can help you. They can be your reference as you look for a new position.

Do You Really Want to Leave?

Here is the biggest risk in confiding in a co-worker that you’re looking for a new job: What if word gets out? If you tell a co-worker and your boss finds out, what happens if you’re not quite ready to leave your job. Many companies have a policy of letting people go who are actively looking for other positions. If you don’t have all of your job search ducks in a row, it might not be a good time to say anything.

Can You Help Others?

But there might be reasons why telling your co-workers you’re leaving can help them. Maybe they will be in line for a promotion or to take on your responsibilities. If they have a heads up, they can make sure they’re prepared to prove themselves to management. They may want to update their resume, as well.

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