July 7, 2008

Why Burn Bridges?

Posted in On the Job tagged , , at 10:00 pm by Katelyn

I have read several articles and overheard one conversation recently about companies that do not wish their employees well when they move on to bigger and better jobs/positions.  I am floored by this attitude!  The management at companies like these take a resignation very personally rather than understanding that it’s just business.  In many situations, I think employees have no choice but to move out in order to move up.

Perhaps I am naive, but I always thought that if you performed your job well, took a new job because it was a better fit or an advancement for your career, gave your employer ample notice, and resigned by thanking them for all they taught you, then an employer should be happy for you and happy to provide a great reference.  I guess the companies mentioned above must be the best places ever to work if they think that no one should ever want to leave.

Doesn’t this situation go against the very core of what business is?  I am always thinking to the future and therefore try to hold all contacts close and not burn bridges because you never know when that contact may have something you need.

Have you ever worked for a company like the ones mentioned – who are offended rather than supportive when an employee is ready to move on?  Or have you had a great experience with moving on to a new position?  I am curious to compare my own GREAT experiences with yours and see which is more common.


  1. imadeitinacave said,

    “Business is always personal” – Donald Trump

    Okay seriously, a manager that takes your resignation personally probably won’t be moving on up any time soon. Especially in the coming years, business will no longer be like the past, where people stick around in corporations for a while as the balance of power shifts more and more to the individual. I believe “free agent” is the term people use.

    And yes you probably are naive (but who am I to talk?). It’s just that the way you phrased it sounds like a “wham bam thank you ma’am”, metaphorically speaking (forgive the crudeness). I’m sure it was implied, but as Ferrazzi would say, you need to have made some sort of an impression on your managers/coworkers. They’re not obligated to write you a great reference. I think this is the part where the sharing your dreams + make a connection comes in.

    Happy thinking (:

  2. Katelyn said,

    Do you agree with Trump’s quote?? I’m still thinking on that one.

    I completely agree that the face of business is changing drastically and it is more of the norm to have multiple jobs in a shorter amount of time. I also like the term “free agent”.

    Perhaps I overstated when I said that an employer would be happy to provide a great reference. I think they should at least be understanding of why you are leaving, and then yes, if you have made an impression and a connection, then comes the great reference. Thanks for making me really think about what I wrote 🙂
    Keep the comments coming!

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