Vincy Workplace
August 13, 2004

Burning your bridges

Does it really matter how you end a relationship with a job you do not like and with people you will never work with again in your professional life?
A young man applied and won a new position in a company that had room for advancement, a higher salary and by all surface accounts much nicer people to work with. {{more}}Amidst all his success, a debate erupted among his coworkers regarding the proper way in which to end the relationship with his current employer.
Without a doubt, his position was a dead end, low paying job with a boss who seldom expressed appreciation and gratitude for a job well done. The majority of his coworkers thought the young man should just quit, as the employer did not deserve advance notice after all the years of mediocre treatment.
The young man however, listened to wise counsel and gave his employer two weeks notice in writing and actually thanked the employer for the years of employment. A very smart move as the world is a small place and you just never know how or when you will work with someone in the future
When you leave a job don’t burn your bridges, leave the gate open in the event you will need those relationships in the future. Don’t gossip about the position and the people you are leaving behind or do mediocre work just before you leave. Help train the new person or leave your work clean and orderly so it’s easy to follow when you are gone.
Give at least 2 weeks notice and do so in writing; for managerial and higher positions a month or more notice would be appreciated. If there is an exit interview, take the time to complete the process and do so candidly and diplomatically.
A civil departure is always in your professional interest as you may need to do business with that former boss or colleague later in life or they may be in a position to directly or indirectly influence decisions being made about you.
Your reputation and your ability to interact with people are big factors that will determine how successful you will be, always strive to be savvy and strategic in your decisions and never burn your bridges.

• Karen Hinds is an international author, speaker and consultant and president of Karen Hinds Seminars.
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