Quitting Your Job? Be Careful Not to Burn Any Bridges

March 26th, 2013

It’s so tempting. You’ve landed a great new job, and you’re dying to tell your incompetent boss what you think of him when you quit. Or brag to your co-workers how much better your new position is going to be. You know that you shouldn’t burn bridges on your way out the door, but…maybe just this once?

Resist the temptation. The world is a small place, especially if you work in a connected field like IT, where everybody seems to be separated by no more than a few degrees. And what if the boss you just told off is related to the HR manager at the company you desperately want to work for someday?

Don’t risk your future career prospects on a blowout speech on your last day, or even an exit interview full of sour grapes. Here are a few guidelines to help you leave an unhappy work situation without burning your professional bridges:

1. Keep it professional, not personal.

The other side of the situation is that it’s not the best idea to leave your current position without explaining why to anyone.  Not just because it can be damaging emotionally, but it’s also important for the HR department of your company to know why you’re leaving.  If they see a trend—such as a series of talented employees leaving as the result of a single bad manager—they may need to take action to prevent further losses.

So, if certain on-the-job conditions have prompted your resignation, you can share them with HR during your exit interview, but do it right: don’t rant and rave. Provide useful information backed by specific examples.

Wrong:  “My boss was an egomaniac who never gave me enough time to get things done.” Right: “My manager struggled to provide timely feedback and prioritization advice in a professional manner.”

2. Vent your frustrations appropriately.

Vent to your friends.  To your family members.  To co-workers who have gone through the same grief and aggravation that you have.  Just be careful that those co-workers aren’t the type who will go running back to your office and repeat what you said! And whatever you do, do NOT express your negative opinions openly on social media.

Keep in mind that you’re almost out of the bad situation. You won’t have to deal with your bad boss or your company’s frustrating policies any longer.

Before you let loose with all of the complaints you’ve been longing to share, take a deep breath and focus on the future.  Your career’s long-term well-being just isn’t worth the risk of burning bridges in a short-lived blaze of glory.

With all of the mobility in your field, you might find yourself coming and going from a variety of jobs throughout your career. You’ll also run into a lot of the same people. Keep your exit professional! And if you’re looking for the chance to find your next great opportunity, don’t hesitate to contact the staffing experts at Synerfac.

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