I’m 24 years old and have been working at my first job for a year and a half. The firm is just me and my boss. After 6 months I was promoted to “vice president of communications” and I have earned a lot of responsibility since I started. I admire my boss greatly as she has had the company for 16 years and built it from the ground up with hard work and dedication. She has been a great mentor to me and provided me with a great experience. However, I feel now that I have hit a wall. I am no longer happy in the situation and feel as though I am not working towards my real goals and aspirations. I also want to move out of my parents house into another city.

I am at a loss for how to approach this situation because on one hand, I do not want to screw over the woman who gave me a break by merely giving her two weeks notice when I find something, and on the other hand, I am worried that if I let it be known now that I am looking for a new position before I actually have something, she will just tell me to leave and I will be without a job or reference. I also have a deep fear of being the stereotypical “gen y’er” who bounces around and isn’t willing to put their time in somewhere. I know I have done a good job, but is it enough with only being a year and a half? Any advice you have would be much appreciated – I feel lost, guilty, and desperate to break out but I just don’t know how without screwing her (and possibly myself) over.