and Burned Bridges
Case for Good Manners when Leaving a Job
By Bill Radin
Imagine a co-worker
who trashes his cubicle, plays practical jokes on his replacement and slinks off with the copier on his last day of work.
Is this a person you’d recommend to a prospective employer? Or expect your company
to rehire? Or want to work with again? Probably not.
We can only hope that the reported antics
surrounding the Clintons’ White House exodus are untrue, because bad behavior—from a chief executive, no less—degrades the employment experience for the rest of us.
A Strong Dose of Character
When faced with leaving a job, it’s best
to exercise decorum, whether the move is voluntary or forced. To make the best of an awkward situation, here are four tips
1. Keep your
mouth shut. Leaving a job (like ending a personal relationship) is strictly a private matter; and waving your dirty laundry
serves no purpose.
2. Stay cool.
Even in the context of a “confidential” exit interview, there’s nothing to gain from scorching the Earth.
3. Keep your
distance. Soliciting support (or fomenting dissent) from your co-workers might create the impression of a conspiracy or coup
d’etat—and unwittingly implicate innocent people.
4. Burn bridges
at your own peril. The company you left yesterday may need your services tomorrow. If you don’t have anything nice to
say, don’t say it.
easy to be gracious when everything’s rosy. But it takes an extra dose of character to act like an adult when the going
gets tough. If you’re ever caught in a sudden employment shift, try to maintain your composure and consider the consequences
of your actions.
like flexible schedules and casual Fridays may come and go, but good manners are forever. Otherwise, Shakespeare wouldn’t
have written, “A person is remembered for his entrances and exits.”