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Question reg jobs & professional references

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When an ad requests "professional references", I feel a little stumped since that would mean I have to list my current employer who does not know I am contemplating leaving. The employer prior to the current one (over 4 years ago) passed on (sole proprietor) last year.

I am reluctantly looking for a more local position since I currently have to drive 2 hours (roundtrip) to work.

What can count as a professional reference?

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I use people who know me from work, not necessarily former or current supervisors. It might be the administrative assistant with whom you closely worked to get things on the Executive Director's schedule or the program manager from a nearby division who's worked on teams with you. Sometimes I use the division manager who has seen parts of my work and knows the positive influence I've had on program operations. It doesn't have to be someone high up (although that can sometimes help). As long as that person can speak to your work ethic and skills, it's all good! Hope this helps and good luck!

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