Quitting Your Job On Good Terms Can Pay Off

March 24, 2010

Quitting your job on good terms can definitely make a positive difference as you travel down your career path. Last weekend I heard two examples of why it pays off to leave your job in style, with your relationships intact and no bridges burned. 

The first story shows how a bad break up with your boss or your company can put you at a disadvantage in your career in the future.  The second person who shared thier story with me was a great example of how valuable old co-workers can be for referrals if you leave a job on good terms.

Getting Fired

The first example is a lady that I met about 2 years ago who moved to the Midwest from California for a new job.  She’s good at what she does and was working well at her new company but they had a management shake-up and she found herself at odds with her new boss.  She left the company on bad terms and ruined any chances she had of getting a job there in the future. 

My friend used her personal network to find another job that suited her well but just last week they had to lay-off people due to a decline in business.  She still has a good network of friends and acquaintances but many of them work at the company she left on bad terms; making it hard to get referrals.

Fortunately she has a 4 month emergency fund so she should have enough time to find a job.  However, if she had kept her options open at her previous job she might not have needed to burn through a chunk of her savings before finding another job. 

Getting Hired

I also heard a story where a bad career experience led to a great one thanks to a good relationship.  Another friend of mine found himself in a very poor working environment, due mostly to one person in management.  He had never been treated as poorly by a boss and realized he needed to get out of the situation. 

The day he left his job, he called up a former boss and let them know he was on the job market.  He had worked with the previous supervisor as a contractor and had a really good relationship with the team of people there. 

Great news for my friend, they called him back right away and offered him a full time position.  Although it had been several years since he had worked there the people in the company remembered him in a positive light.  Had he not given two weeks notice and left on good terms, he probably wouldn’t have landed a new job right away.

It’s tempting to let people know what you *really* think of them when you’re leaving a company but think about the long term and how the people you’ve worked with could be potential job referals in the future.


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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8 Responses to Quitting Your Job On Good Terms Can Pay Off

  • James

    not to mention now a days most people conducting interviews will call past employers looking for references so it always pays to be on your best behavior.

  • Cap

    Definitely echo this sentiment. I’ve seen time and time again when people make an attempt to end things on good terms (hell, it doesn’t even have to be a job), you will usually get the benefit in an immediate (or distant) future.

  • Kate

    This is a great article. Two years ago, I hated my job and my company knew I was unhappy but I still had a great performance at what I did. I decided to make the move to quit even though I didn’t have anything lined up. Thankfully I can still call on them if I needed to and even received a bit of severance.


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