April 16th, 2009
5 Things Not to Do When You Leave Your Job

Leaving a job is often upsetting, whether you were fired or finally decided to quit. You may have trouble remembering to do the right thing. Here are five things you should avoid doing.

1. Don’t tell off your boss and co-workers, even if you think they deserve it.
When you leave your job, your emotions may be running high, especially if you are leaving on bad terms. You may want to tell your boss or co-workers what you really think of them. Don’t do it, even if they truly deserve it. You never know who you will meet down the road and who you may have to work with one day.

2. Don’t damage company property or steal something.
You may feel you were mistreated by your employer and you may be really angry. However, vandalism and theft are criminal offenses. Not only will your professional repution be damaged by your actions, you could end up in jail.

3. Don’t forget to ask for a reference.
This may sound like an odd thing to consider if you are leaving your job on unfavorable terms. However, you will have to include this job on your resume, so you should try to make sure you get either a good or, at least, a neutral reference. If you’ve been fired because of some horrible offense, this may be a moot point. However if your parting is due to something less serious, you may be able to ask your boss for a reference, in spite of the fact that “things didn’t work out as expected.”

4. Don’t badmouth your employer or any of your co-workers to your replacement.
First of all, it will only look like sour grapes, so there’s nothing to gain here. Second, your successor will figure things out for himself or herself. Third, it may have been bad chemistry, and your co-worker will have a totally different experience than you did.

5. Don’t badmouth your employer to a prospective employer when you go on a job interview.
The only person who this will make look bad is you. Your prospective boss will wonder what caused your relationship with your prior employer to sour and will suspect that you could have been at fault.

By Dawn Rosenberg McKay, About.com

Founder, Catherine's Career Corner. The career site empowering and inspiring ambitious candidates of all ages and professions to thrive and work smarter on their careers. Gladly helping you to explore your career at any stage.

One thought on “5 Things Not to Do When You Leave Your Job

  1. Sadly, job loss is affecting so many now. I am one of those that lost a job I loved for 18 years in Dec 2008 due to the bad economy. Fortunately, I was able to turn my initial fear and anxiety into joy and opportunity by following a simple plan …….even included one miracle! So inspired, I wrote a book, The Joy of Job Loss, for those who have lost their job, know someone who has lost their job, or for those who simply fear losing their current job. Details on author website:
    http://www.rp-author.com/Webbon
    My hope is that my job loss experience, plan, and positive results covered in my book will have as much value to others as it did for me. I hope you will read and share with others. Wishing all those impacted by job loss only the very best moving forward.
    Linda Webbon

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