Burning Bridges …Posted: March 27, 2021
Johnny Paycheck sings “Take this job and shove it, I ain’t workin’ here no more.” There is something liberating about just writing those words, much less being able to say them. But walking into your boss’s office and doing your best Johnny Paycheck interpretation probably isn’t great career advice (unless you can do it in style, go viral and get an offer from Queen Latifah).
Burning Bridges has some very different connotations. In this post, Rebecca Thorman says that if burning bridges means cutting ties, then by all means, there are many good reasons to cut ties and move on. I agree. But she also says, “You shouldn’t just walk out. You should give notice and finish your projects and be polite (if for no other reason than your own sense of pride and accomplishment),” and that’s really where I come in.
To me, burning bridges means a scorched earth policy. It means trashing your former boss or company, or using confidential information inappropriately. (Can you hear Johnny Paycheck in the background?) These are career limiting decisions and can have horrible effects on your job search.
Regardless of how you leave a job, leave it with as much dignity and grace as possible. Follow Ms. Thorman’s advice. After you’re gone, my advice is much like your mother’s was long ago, if you can’t say something good about someone, don’t say anything at all – especially in an interview. No interviewer wants to hear you bash your former company or complain about how poorly they treated you. Be a grown up, highlight the good parts or stay quiet.
I strongly support not burning your bridges, because you may need them.
If you are struggling with your job search, this might help. https://im-fired.com/about-the-book/