Getting a new job: employment references

so im still employed and may possibly be going to another firm. Can someone advise what is the procedure for employment references? I have never given in my notice before and I waws wondering how it works, because they interview you like a million times, and they prob alreayd want you but what if you get bad references? Does that mean you are screwed cos your firm knows you wanna leave and the new firm doesn’t want to hire you anymore???

You’re the one who usually gives the references for them to contact. If you think anyone will screw you over, then don’t provide their contact information as a reference. Also, in general a company will never contact the firm you are currently working with unless you specifically say it’s ok. In my case, I would never let a company contact my boss because he’s a prick and will retaliate. But I have provided a senior analyst’s contact info at my company because I know he’s cool.

Yeah you can usually use your peers rather than your bosses. They are usually just trying to confirm that you were employed there.

If a company screws over an exiting employee they can be sued. So the most the firm can do to make your life difficult (if they actually care to do this) is name specific instances where they have a verifiable record of your underperformance/misconduct/poor attendance. If they don’t have hard evidence to back up negative comments about you, they put themselves in a legally weak position if they say anything negative about you at all. Thus in most cases a firm will give pretty neutral references to minimize the chance of any lawsuit. Even if they don’t like you, they’ll just be happy to see you go. If they do like you and are sad that you’re leaving, then they’ll be interested in maintaining a good relationship to expand their network, and maybe leave the door open to hiring you back sometime in the future.

thanks guys. i was just scared cos they seemed to know alot of people that i work with or for, and can really potentially really screw me over. I dont have anything to hide but some people I have either never had much contact with or they have an attitude towards our group and my old manager has been really rude to them so I guess i was worried that would greatly affect their impression of me. they havent officially asked me yet but i am certain that they will try to get something through the grapevine as you do.