Why you should never burn a bridge

Burned bridges cause more havoc for job seekers than almost anything else. A bad resume slows down your job search but there are people who do get jobs despite their resumes. Risky, but it can happen.

However, the individual who decides to vent their frustration and blows up at management when departing or talks trash about them every chance they get will struggle to find new employment.

The benefits of keeping your mouth shut

Hard as it is to keep your mouth shut, if you can manage to suck it up long enough to get out the door with a smile and a nod, you will improve your chances of being hired by a competitor or another firm by about 90%. Why?

  1. If you ever need to get a reference from the company, you blew your chances. I know that legally there is little a company can say about you other than you worked there from X to Y and your last title was XYZ but there are times when that turns into more by someone who answers the phone and feels the need to vent.
  2. Don’t dismiss how much business happens out of the company. An inquiry in confidence on the golf course or at dinner might get a different answer than the legal one. Do you want to risk that?
  3. Occasionally, things change. A manager you couldn’t stand leaves the company and your skills are the best ones to fill a position. You might be hired back if you don’t burn your bridges.
  4. It colors your thinking. When you are filled with anger about your last employer, it colors your ability to talk to people about the experience. It messes with your ability to network and may even affect your health.

When you leave a position, leave.

Fired or resigned, it doesn’t matter. Just walk away. Start figuring out the value you bring and who your real network is and leave the bridges intact.

Stuck in your job search or just ready to move on from your existing position? Julie Walraven can help you find a new career! To find out how, Click here!

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  1. Kelly Smith on January 16, 2012 at 9:41 am

    Also apply this policy to firms you work with on your job search. Occasionally, a potential employer may not follow through on a promised interview or other job hunting activity. You do know what happened on their end. Perhaps there was a big change, your contact became ill or left the company or any number of things. In addition, networking contacts may not follow through or may not respond to a phone call or e-mail. Again you may not know what happened at the other end. In either case be willing to help these parties in the future. Do not speak ill of them. Pretend like nothing happened.

    • Julie Walraven on January 16, 2012 at 1:14 pm

      Good advice, Kelly and really a good policy for every transaction. Often when you blow up or get out of control, you find it backfires later. You may need that contact in the future. Thanks for stopping by… insightful comment.

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