Leaving a Job I Just Got Promoted in?

I am a recent Chemical Engineering graduate. As part of my degree, I had to attain 480 hours of professional engineering experience in order to graduate. At that time, it was very difficult to get selected into Vacation programs even though my results and experience was above average. After spending the whole of 2017 trying to find something, and wondering if I would even graduate I eventually got an entry level job as a drafter at a medium sized company. I took it without thinking much of it & and completed my required hours, after which I was promoted to full time position. I enjoyed working here for the last year and half: the travel time was 10-15mins w/ traffic, hours were great, manager was even better and I enjoyed the work environment. The only problem; this job was completely outside of what my field actually is.

So, I decided early this year to start applying for graduate positions in my field. For this entire year, I worked at my company without hearing back from any of my applications. Until last week when I got promoted again, but now into an engineering role. Naturally it came with a pay rise, and I was very happy. Fast forward to today, when I received a phone call from one of my applications for a Process Engineering role I submitted about 3 months ago informing me that I had been shortlisted to an interview.

When I was applying for other jobs, I put my manager as a reference without consulting him first thinking that when the opportunity arose I would simply go in and have a chat with him. I did this to avoid any necessary tension that would have occurred if I told him when I first started applying for jobs.

I am now at a cross-roads; If I decline the interview I could be throwing away a chance at entering into my field, but if I accept and don't progress to the final stages it would tarnish my relationship with my current company and manager.

Any advice is appreciated!


  • +3 votes

    I would go have a chat with your manager and by the sounds of it, would be supportive of you going for this potential job especially if it is something you are keenly interested in. You have to think about it logically, unless you plan to work for this company for xx years then there will be a point in time, this month, next month, next year, whenever that may be, that you will seek out other opportunities and will require your manager to support you in some shape or form.

  • +16 votes

    Go to the interview, but tell them about the situation with him as a reference. Offer other alternative references.

    Don't get ahead of yourself here, it's an interview not a job offer. Last thing you want is to be left unemployed.


      Agree, I wouldnt be talking to your manager before a first interview. They normally wouldnt contact him until final stages anyway.

      Given you have not heard back for 3 months, how reliable is this company?

    • +2 votes

      This. I dont usually list references until after the interview. It helps yo be upfront at the application/interview stagc e - "If you are strongly considering me for this position, I would be happy to provide references."

      Also, for future, best not to list a soneone as a referee without telling them first. There is nothing worse than getting a call out of the blue to provide a ref for one of your employees applying for a job without your knowledge.


    As above. No reason you can't change your referee.

    But if you manager is the only suitable one you can find, don't have the discussion until you progress to the final stages. If you don't progress, he doesn't need to know.

    Also consider though, if asking him to be referee is going to cause difficulties, are you sure he's going to give you a positive reference?

    But whatever happens, worst thing you can do is have him called as a referee without him being fore-warned. That won't look good to your potential new employer as well as making things difficult with your current one.

  • +1 vote

    You shouldnt think the worst of people, the manager might be happy for you, you should never ever pass up a good opportunity, you are still young, dont put a managers approval of you over opportunities you might have to improve your career prospects.

  • +1 vote

    Say you are my employee. You tell me your plans, I’ll support you because I’m a good person. I will also reduce or stop investing time and money in you because I’m a practical person as well. All this doesn’t matter in the big picture of your life. You go and pursue your dreams.

  • +1 vote

    The only problem; this job was completely outside of what my field actually is.

    How is this a problem. The point of a university degree to to get a job. You have a job that you enjoy. You do not have an offer, only an interview. You could well end up being unemployed.


      I will definitely not leave my current position until after I sign the papers at the new job. But I understand your point of view. I seem to think that if I don't get settled into my field now, that I won't get an opportunity to later on. Many people in this thread disagree, and I'm just curious on your thoughts on this?


        If your manager finds out you’re applying for other jobs then what you have will evaporate. You have a permanent job with decent hours and promotion prospects which is more than many graduates have. Many people don’t work in the field they study and I suspect many move on after a while. Your best bet for success would be to stick it out for several years and accumulate enough experience and contacts to be mid level in your current industry. This would allow you to leave in the future and take an entry level role in your field and lesson the risk that if you hate it/can’t get a role then you can move back with little effect on your career

  • +4 votes

    As soon as your current Manager finds out you are seeking a position elsewhere, you can then forget about any promotion opportunities or support even if you do end up staying.

    If you are happy where you are, and the money is good, why risk it for an 'interview'?

    I would only tell the Manager 'after' you have been offered a job.


      Yes that's exactly why I didn't bring it up earlier. I want to risk it because I feel for some reason that I should be working in the field I studied in, and that if I don't get in now, I'll be locked out for good. Telling my manager after an offer would most likely be out of the equation, as reference checks would most likely happen after this interview.


        I too am a chemical engineer working in a different industry but a job that still requires a background in STEM. I love my job and honestly believe that the experience I get from this position is more trasferrable and diverse compared to a job as a chemical engineer.
        If you think in your current field of work that there's enough avenues for career progression or you can gain more diverse and transferrable skills take these things in to consideration when you choose between the jobs. Still there's no harm in going for the interview. As others have said don't tell your manager about the interview just yet.


    There is a lot of good feedback in this thread, based on my many years of working in corporate.

    As others have asked, why is it a problem to be employed in field you didn't study for?
    Sounds like you have it very good, a great manager, 2 promotions in a short period of time, short travel time, great work environment.
    I think the only consideration is money - is it good enough now and will it have potential to be good enough in future?

    Think about the flip side - if you get this new job, and assume all the conditions are worse than you have now but you're in the field you studied for, would you be happy with your decision or would you regret it?
    Do you dislike the field of work you do now? Or you love chemical engineering so much you have to do it? (reasons to look elsewhere)

    • +1 vote

      Wow, thank you very much for the great advice. I'm just worried that if I'm not in my field, that I'll be locked out for future opportunities and my degree would effectively be meaningless. I don't dislike the work I do now, but I certainly don't love it; but I also have no idea what a job as a process/ chemical engineer entails…only what I've been taught at University. You raised some great points, and I think now it's time to reflect.


        Happy to help - trying to provide a framework within which you can make your own decision.

        You raise a pertinent point as in needing to understand what the process / chemical engineer job entails - you have a university network of people in that field, would be a great idea to tap into their experience as they live it day-to-day - maybe a coffee / lunch catchup with them would help?

        In truth I'm not sure that most people love their jobs, just for context. Not disliking your job is not bad in the whole scheme of things, while still getting paid relatively well :)

  • -2 votes

    That’s the problem now days disloyal employees only concerned about their own backs .

    No respect for company currently looking after you and providing opportunities.

    And you want a loving reference from your manager for your play lol ?

    • +1 vote

      That’s the problem now days disloyal employees only concerned about their own backs .

      Haha lol. Nice rhetoric to have. From the business owners point of view, everything is filthy employees just looking out for themselves until the business starts going broke due to the direction the owners take it. Then all of a sudden the owners are very concerned about their own backs and firing employees left and right.


      Hi profar,

      The problem now days is actually that young people struggle to walk out of University in their chosen field, in a full time position. I'm very happy in my current work, and have the utmost respect for my company and my colleagues. Just after some advice here, as I can only apply for graduate positions for another year, after which I will lose this opportunity to work in my field as a graduate which will set me up for my future.


    You have talked about your career goals with your boss awhile ago didn't you? If you did, you shouldn't have any problems here.

    I would always outline what your career plans are with your boss when you start a new job. I don't mean saying "Once I find a job I really want I am out of here" but weaving in where you eventually want to be in the timeline of where you are "work here, get experience, get promoted, obtain mastery in role, then process engineer." etc.


    always put ur best interest first.

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