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Burning bridges with previous employers !
Old 04-28-2012, 05:18 PM   #1
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Burning bridges with previous employers !

Have you ever and if so care to discuss ?
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Old 04-28-2012, 05:56 PM   #2
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No, and I'm glad I didn't because the boss from my first job later joined the board of directors of my third employer. Since I left the first employer on good terms, it was a good thing for me whereas it would have been a huge negative had I burned bridges.

It might make you feel good for 20 seconds or so, but some comeuppance is inevitable. The world is too small a place in many professions.
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Old 04-28-2012, 06:30 PM   #3
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My bridge was burnt at Megacorp when I left, but only because it was policy. Megacorp simply did (does) NOT hire former employees back. When I was still there, it was dicey even to come back as a contract temp. No explanation for the rule, but it was one of the few rules ever truly enforced. The only exception I ever saw turned out badly for Megacorp, so that might be why it was unbendable.

I always wanted to leave on the best of terms. Though I left with very few days of notice before my last w*rking day, I actually was "on vacation" and willing to come back in to help in any way prior to my final day a few weeks later. I considered leaving to be sadly sweet. Not angry, not hurt, no grudges - I just didn't want to do that any more! And I didn't have to!! Financial independence shifts the power to the employee. YMMV
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Old 04-28-2012, 06:48 PM   #4
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There are some employers who won't re-hire, others who never hire a former employee of a competitor, but you may have business relationships or work with your former co-workers at a later date. To make a gracious exit is much more productive, and will do more from your career, than burning bridges.

The best revenge is having a great life after bidding adieu. Always smile at your former boss, keep him/her guessing.
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Old 04-28-2012, 07:00 PM   #5
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Whether the ex-employer will consider a rehire or not is their issue. I would suggest never burning bridges. Former co-workers will inevitably leave and move to other companies. A bridge once burnt can turn into an army of people who will resist hiring you at any number of future companies. Conversely, a graceful exit and turn into a lot of future contacts in many companies who remember you well and would like to work with you again.
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Old 04-28-2012, 09:45 PM   #6
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I made a graceful exit when I left.

IMHO, leaving gracefully makes everyone feel better in the long run. Plus, the old saying of success is the best revenge holds true.

It was more fun for me walking away on my own terms than taking a parting shot walking out the door .
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Old 04-29-2012, 05:39 AM   #7
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I made a graceful exit when I left.

IMHO, leaving gracefully makes everyone feel better in the long run. Plus, the old saying of success is the best revenge holds true.

It was more fun for me walking away on my own terms than taking a parting shot walking out the door .
+1

It is always best to keep things professional and respectful. I did, am very glad I did, and counseled others to to the same. I've never known anyone that came to regret leaving in a positive way, but I do know those that tried to amend hard feelings down the road and were not always successful.
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Old 04-29-2012, 09:15 AM   #8
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It seems to me that the bridge is not always under your control. People can take against you for the dumbest reasons (usually having to do with their own insecurities). So I have burned a bridge, here and there, without intending to do so.

But I would not go out of my way to get under someone's skin, or publicly air unpopular views just so I can "feel better" for a few minutes. What's the point? If I believe I've been mistreated, but there is no way to right matters, why raise an odor about it. I have seen others do this as an exit ploy ("I'm finally going to have my say about this terrible place" on the company message board). What always strikes me is not the "risk" they take of not being re-hired, but the small, unworthy nature of the act itself.

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Old 04-29-2012, 10:00 AM   #9
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It seems to me that the bridge is not always under your control. People can take against you for the dumbest reasons (usually having to do with their own insecurities). So I have burned a bridge, here and there, without intending to do so.

But I would not go out of my way to get under someone's skin, or publicly air unpopular views just so I can "feel better" for a few minutes. What's the point? If I believe I've been mistreated, but there is no way to right matters, why raise an odor about it. I have seen others do this as an exit ploy ("I'm finally going to have my say about this terrible place" on the company message board). What always strikes me is not the "risk" they take of not being re-hired, but the small, unworthy nature of the act itself.

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Old 04-29-2012, 10:05 AM   #10
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I've had two fairly high level public sector and 5 private sector jobs. In one case I was let go from my first public sector job, it was headline stuff with lots of quotes from officials and ...me. It was very tempting to point out some problems with the new mayor who made the choice to let me go. Instead I kept it fairly high level, and in the end I have press clippings that I can use as an explanation of how I lost that job and that it was widely disagreed with. Had compliments from several as to how I'd taken the high road. It was tough for me at the time, and was given my 14 years of pension contributions back...with NO interest. Anyway, point is that no, I've never burned bridges no matter how tempting (and it took a good bit of self control on my part). Bridge burning is a behavior that really doesn't do anything but MAYBE make you feel better temporarily. In the end, it can become a liability and follow you. Sort of like Buffet's lyrics about a tattoo...a permanent reminder of a temporary feeling.
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Old 04-29-2012, 12:45 PM   #11
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I have yet to see even a hint of upside to burning bridges when you leave an employer.

Sure, I participate in some silly, gossipy ex-employer bashing with a select group of friends from the MegaCorp from which my sorry ass was booted (I called it ER!) years ago. But, my departure from MegaCorp was orchestrated with visits to the offices of my superiors thanking them for all the good years and the opportunities and telling them I understood why they had to do this........

Despite the fact I never seriously looked for work after the layoff, I had more than one call from an ex-boss or big wig I dealt with on the old job giving me leads and offers of recommendations for employment opportunities. Never would have gotten that if I'd told them what I really thought that day when the security gurard walked me to the door. I didn't need to go back to work, but what if something had come up where I did?

Don't burn bridges just to satisfy emotional hunger for revenge.
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Old 04-30-2012, 05:14 AM   #12
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Have you ever and if so care to discuss ?
Now that I'm another 10 years further down the road, I'm glad that I didn't burn any bridges back there.

A classy exit not only leaves them wondering but also leaves a good impression for later referrals (not that you need them) or possibly even friendships.

At the very least it leaves you with a good reputation.
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Old 04-30-2012, 07:03 AM   #13
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.....At the very least it leaves you with a good reputation.
and a clear conscious that you took the high road and did the right thing
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Old 04-30-2012, 10:28 AM   #14
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I burned one bridge in my career. In 1975 I was working for a financial information systems outfit in Fargo ND when I got a call from my Dad's doctor that he had been rushed to the hospital and his health was failing fast. I had seen him a couple of weeks before and thought there might be something wrong. He was a stubborn guy and wouldn't go to a doctor unless it was serious. Anyway, they called me home. After about 10 days my employer called and said either return immediately or they would have to fire me. I told them I was not in a position to return at that time so they let me go. Dad died about 5 days later. A couple weeks after the funeral my ex employer called and offered a nice raise if I would come back. I was so angry at what they had already done I told them what I thought of them and hung up. In the end I was unemployed for about 10 months but wound up in a much better position.
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Old 04-30-2012, 11:44 AM   #15
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I burned a couple of them, but I couldn't envision at the time any way that the person who I was leaving (as I've always left bosses and not jobs) would be someone I'd want a referral from in the future. They were jobs not careers anyway, but both instances felt pretty good at the time, and the final walk out the door moments are still savored in retrospect.

One boss I left after only 54 days, so not much invested. She was heinous, though.

The other was a job I loved, for a middle-manager boss I admired and respected, but the company was full of holes, financial and otherwise. The owner (a tool) came to me one day while my boss was out of town dealing with his terminally ill father (sound familiar Nodak) and said that he was planning to fire my boss when he got back to town and was I interested in perhaps a promotion. I was not.

When my boss got the boot the following week, I just went into the owner's office and said thanks for the opportunities but that I wouldn't be able to stick around without my boss. It wasn't particularly acrimonious, and I think he expected it after my negative reaction to the promotion offer.

At my graduation party (finally finishing college at 40), I thanked my old boss, now a treasured friend, for getting canned and making me review my life goals and take a new direction in my life. The company we worked for went under about 10 months after I quit. The owner is still a tool.
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Old 04-30-2012, 11:52 AM   #16
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I burned one bridge in my career. In 1975 I was working for a financial information systems outfit in Fargo ND when I got a call from my Dad's doctor that he had been rushed to the hospital and his health was failing fast. I had seen him a couple of weeks before and thought there might be something wrong. He was a stubborn guy and wouldn't go to a doctor unless it was serious. Anyway, they called me home. After about 10 days my employer called and said either return immediately or they would have to fire me. I told them I was not in a position to return at that time so they let me go. Dad died about 5 days later. A couple weeks after the funeral my ex employer called and offered a nice raise if I would come back. I was so angry at what they had already done I told them what I thought of them and hung up. In the end I was unemployed for about 10 months but wound up in a much better position.
Sounds justified. But just telling them off when they called you in your situation is a mild case of burning bridges compared to overtly going out of your way to bad-mouth them.
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Old 04-30-2012, 12:20 PM   #17
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I torched the bridge betwixt my old employer and myself. Actually it was pretty much a part of the deal with taking part in the early retirement incentive. I was able to purchase 5 years of service credit and leave at 50 instead of 55, however due to the rules and stipulations in the agreement, I can never work for any employer that participates in the same pension plan. If I do go to work for a participating employer, my pension payments stop and I have to pay back a fairly good chunk of cash to the fund. Then when I leave that employer, my pension would restart, but at a lower monthly rate.

So that being the case, added to the fact that I don't ever plan on working again...especially not in the public sector....I took full advantage of the situation and bluntly expressed my thoughts to my boss concerning several things.....especially his ineptness, incompetence, and lack of any leadership ability. Of course he had been fairly well aware of most of my thoughts on those subjects for several years prior to that.

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Old 04-30-2012, 12:36 PM   #18
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All of the positions I've had in the past (whether with a different company or a different department within the same company) resulted in maintaining good relations with former bosses who still make hiring decisions. Once I was rehired by the same boss after a couple of years away; she and I are still in contact. You never know what lies ahead.
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Old 04-30-2012, 01:57 PM   #19
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Other than perhaps 5 minutes of fun, there is very little to be gained, and a lot to lose, by making an ungraceful exit.
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Old 04-30-2012, 02:56 PM   #20
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I can't think of a good reason to burn bridges with an employer or person for that matter, regardless of the circumstances. Why? Spite? Getting even? Seriously? Here's a good summary someone else wrote, the first one alone is reason enough...

Quote:
Here are 10 Reasons that Burning Bridges is a Waste of Time:

Burning Bridges is Childish - This is the purest case of the immature child not getting their way. You are upset so you are going to throw a fit and stomp off. The mature individual makes their choice and makes their own way. It is not about right or wrong at this point.

You Don’t Know What Will Burn – When you play with fire, you never know what is going to burn. You may try to burn your former boss, but there can be collateral damage. When a teammate departs and figuratively burns down the house on his exit, he leaves others in a lurch. A departing worker may not only tarnish their own reputation, but that of their friends and teammates, as well.

Never Say Never – As in, “I am never coming back here.” These are famous last words. You never ever know when life may bring you back down this path. How sheepish (and regretful) you will be if you have to return and you burned all your bridges.

It’s a Small World – Someone you burn now, could end up on the other side of the equation down the road. A company did a poor job terminating one of their executives. Six months later he was a VP at one of their largest, most important customers. The tables were turned.

It Wastes Time & Energy – Some may disagree on this. But simply put, burning bridges is a waste of time and energy. Don’t expend valuable time and effort getting even with a former employer. It is a waste of your resources.

There Is No Satisfaction – You think there will be great satisfaction in telling off your former boss or employer. You will find that it fades quickly. (See Reason #1.)

You Are Not Always Right – It could be you. Really, it could be. And you may not realize it for some time, or ever. But, sometimes we are the troublemaker and we don’t realize it. And sometimes perspectives are going to be different no matter what.

It May Be Them, but it Doesn’t Matter – You may be right, after all. However, most bad people do not see themselves that way. There is no reason to argue at this stage. Move along.

Someone Else May Need the Bridge - People often burn bridges because they think they will not need them again. However, what if a friend or colleague needs that bridge at a later time, but you have already destroyed it?

You May Not Get Burned, But You Will Still Smell of Smoke – Your reputation will be tarnished. Once upon a time, you might have gotten away with it. But these days, the whole world will know. between social media, LinkedIn, etc. people will know. And you will be less employable as a result.
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