CAREER DEVELOPMENT / DEC. 30, 2015
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Don’t Burn Bridges: Why It’s Important to Leave on Good Terms

You’ve finally found another – and far much better – job, and you can walk into your jerk of a boss’ office, list off all the reasons you hate his guts and tell him to take your God-awful job and shove it where the sun doesn’t shine. While that might give you a temporary feeling of euphoria and satisfaction, and it might make you feel empowered and invincible, there just might come a time when you’ll have to pay the price of burning bridges with former employers.

The truth is that no matter how much you hate your job or boss, it’s imperative that you always, always leave on good terms – and here’s why.

See Also: 13 Reasons to Quit a Job You Love

1. You Might Need a Job Reference

Job references are now required when applying for a new job. In fact, they’re pretty much expected, especially those from former employers. You’ll need to deliver them when new employers ask for them – and, believe me; they will ask for them.

So, imagine what your old boss will have to say about you when your new boss calls him up for a reference. It won’t be good. You’ll be called unprofessional, unreliable, and about every other negative adjective in the English language. Even if you’re none of those things, whose word do you think a potential employer will take: yours or your old boss’?

2. Your Old Boss Could Be Your New Boss Someday

While this is a little reminiscent of a bad soap opera storyline (you know the kind I’m talking about: twins separated at birth and, entirely coincidentally, meet years later and feel a “special connection”), it isn’t unlikely.

Just like the “little people”, managers and supervisors move on to greener pastures, too. And their greener pasture could very well be the one you picked out for yourself.

It’s highly doubtful that your old-cum-new boss will have gotten over your personal attack on her and her cat-wallpapered office, and that will be quite an uncomfortable situation to be in – that’s the best-case scenario. Worst-case scenario is that she really is a dreadful person and will exact revenge on you: and next thing you know, you’re looking for another job.

Karma really is a b*tch.

3. You Might Want to Come Back One Day

Yeah, yeah, right. As if you’ll ever want to go back to that hell-hole. The whole point of quitting your job is never looking back and continuing your career journey. But our needs constantly change and so do our plans, our goals, our dreams; people simply change – it’s a fact of life.

While you might not want go crawling back to your old boss asking for forgiveness and for your old job back, there might come a day when you’ll regret having left the company for whatever reason (the sleeping pods or six-hour workdays, for example), or you could come across a super awesome position with them that just became available.

The truth is, however, you probably won’t be welcome back.

4. You Just Never Know Who Knows Who

It’s a small world, it really is. You must’ve dated someone who had a cousin twice removed who knew someone who lived next door to a crazy cat lady who happens to be your mother’s best friend from high school. Maybe not quite like that, but still.

Simply put, your reputation could precede you wherever you go. The PR manager who’s interviewing could know you from someone who knows someone who knows your old boss, drastically reducing your chances of getting a job at the Fortune 500 company you so long to work at.

See Also: 7 Most Ridiculous Reasons People Were Fired

Have you ever burned bridges when leaving a job? How did that work for you? Share your experiences with us in the comments section below!

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