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.

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3 replies
  1. Penelope Trunk
    Penelope Trunk says:

    Get a new job. Don’t tell your boss you are looking. Tell your boss when you find a new job. This is totally fine, and if your boss has been in business 16 years, she’ll understand.

    There is nothing bad about this. It is absolutely how high performers work in corporate America.

    Here are posts on quitting. You need how to quit advice, because three is a cognitive dissonance we feel when we tell someone who has been good to us that we’re leaving. But work isn’t marriage. It’s okay to leave, and it’s probably an opportunity for everyone involved to grow.

    http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2007/09/12/five-ways-to-feel-less-guilty-quitting-–-and-why-gen-y-feels-guilt-giving-notice/

    http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2006/08/20/9-tips-for-quitting-a-job-gracefully/

    http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2006/07/01/how-to-quit-a-job-5-steps-and-2-warnings/

    Penelope

  2. Andy
    Andy says:

    Listen, the last thing you want to do is tell your boss you’re leaving before you have a new job lined up. I don’t care how much she likes you, she’ll start recruiting your replacement and will fire you once she hires someone because she can’t afford both of you. Just string her along till you find something else. Don’t feel any guilt, it’s just business.

  3. Claudia
    Claudia says:

    I was in a similar situation. I got a new job and then gave my notice t my existing employer. I was so relieved that my boss said, “That sounds like a great opportunity for you – I’m really happy for you.” I don’t know if that will be your end result, but it’s a possibility. People know that jobs are not forever.

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