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> If you told management, you're using the position and any promotion as a jumping off area for a newer better job at a different company, how happy would management be?

Not happy, and why would they? Flip it around, how happy would you be if you knew they were out there shopping around for your replacement? Only keeping you so long as they didn't find someone better?

If they are doing that, that means that I'm not doing my job well enough that they feel it's worth their time to find a replacement. If you tell your employer you're thinking about leaving, it should tell them the same thing, they are doing something wrong that they need to correct.

At best, telling your employer you're thinking about leaving is childish, like folks in relationships who "break up" as a means of communicating their displeasure instead of talking about the actual issues. At worst it means the relationship is actually bad and one or both of you can't communicate well, so it's over.

The only time it's acceptable IMO is when you're thinking about leaving for an actual, offered role that's much different, eg, "I'm thinking of leaving to be CTO of Startup X, what do you think?"; in any event it's probably OK if the reasons are beyond the company's control (you're moving, etc).

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