Maybe you’ve been there.
You’re working somewhere.
New leadership takes over.
Big changes coming, changes you don’t agree with.
The job becomes unbearable.
The new management is making your life miserable.
You are planning your exit.
And on the way out, you are going to tell ALL new management EXACTLY how you feel.
You don’t want to leave a job this way.
Even if you have a new role lined up, bite your tongue.
The “you can take this job and shove it” attitude will follow you along your job search path and/or even into your next role.
Not only is it bad to badmouth your company as you are leaving it–the professional reputation you worked so hard to achieve vanishes in a poof–but it can also damage your relationships with your colleagues and employer:
⚠️ Burning bridges: If you bad mouth your company or colleagues, you risk burning bridges that you may need to cross again in the future. You never know when you might need a reference or to work with someone again in the future, so it’s important to maintain a positive relationship with your colleagues and employer, even when you are in the right.
⚠️ Negative impact on your career: Bad-mouthing your company can negatively impact your career prospects. Prospective employers may view your negative comments as a reflection of your character and may be hesitant to hire you. Word spreads fast and companies may not want to interview you.
⚠️ Unprofessional behavior: Speaking poorly about your company or colleagues is unprofessional and can be seen as a breach of trust. It can also undermine the work that you and your colleagues have done together and may reflect poorly on you as an individual.
⚠️ Legal consequences: In some cases, bad-mouthing your company may have legal consequences. For example, if you disclose confidential information or trade secrets, you may be sued for breach of contract or breach of fiduciary duty.
Instead, take the high road and follow these steps:
➡️ Write a letter. In addition to the conversation with your manager, it’s important to provide a written resignation letter. Your letter should include your last day of work and express gratitude for the opportunities you had while working for the company.
➡️ Two Weeks. Give them two weeks’ notice. It’s the standard practice and the right thing to do (it also can depend on your employment contract and industry norms). And, if you’re like me, you might get lucky, hand them your notice, and they’ll walk you out ten minutes later (yes, it happens, especially in toxic work environments).
➡️ Offer Assistance. Offer to help transition a new person in. Aid in the onboarding process and train them when needed. Before leaving, ensure that you have completed all of your work and have handed over any outstanding projects or responsibilities to your colleagues. This will help ensure a smooth transition and demonstrate your professionalism (despite the conditions at work).
➡️ Act grateful. Even if the position wasn’t ideal, take the time to thank your colleagues and management in person. Leaving on good terms is good for you–and your health! Knowing you left gracefully makes it less stressful.
➡️Keep in touch. Keep in touch with your former colleagues and employer, as they can be valuable contacts in your professional network. Thank them for the opportunities and experiences you had while working there, and wish them well for the future. You never know when you realize you need to reach out to them about something.
Remember, how you leave a job can have an impact on your professional reputation and future career prospects, so it’s important to leave on good terms.