Hi guys. I’ve decided I want to find something new, but I’m having some trouble assembling references. I’ve been at my current place for 2 years and I can’t use my supervisors as references because they’d fire me if they knew I was looking. So I thought maybe I would ask my coworker. She knows what I do, and we’re friendly so I think she wouldn’t mind doing it, and she’d give me a good reference. She already knows I’m looking, too, I told her yesterday.

But do you think it’s ok to use a current coworker as a reference? Also I’m worried because our boss knows a lot of people in this city, so what if someone who is checking my references tells him that I’m looking for a new job? I’m worried that could result in him firing not only me but also my coworker, for giving me the reference. Do you think that’s a valid fear, or am I being paranoid? If there’s any chance it could come back on my coworker in a bad way then I can’t in good conscience ask her for the reference. What do you think?

Also, what would you say in an email to a former boss asking for a reference? I haven’t talked to the person since I left 2 years ago but I know she’d recommend me, I just have to figure out what to say.