My colleague sat across the table from me last week. He’d just resigned. “I’ve loved my time here. I want to leave without burning any bridges,” he told me. And then said he wanted to depart within a very short time frame, which would leave his business leaderless and seriously destabilize staff and clients. He was about to commit one of the biggest career stuff ups we can make. Get this wrong, and it haunts you forever. Here it is.
I am a great believer in trying to make the grass greener on this side of the fence. Work hard to get your current roles better for you before jumping ship. But sometimes a move is the right course. Of course it is. The trick is to make an elegant exit.
When my colleague told me he want to depart very quickly, I shared a piece of advice with him from my heart, and from 30 years of experience in business. I can’t recall where I heard it, and I can’t find it online. I also don’t know whether I am articulating it correctly here. But frankly, it does not matter. It’s magical advice for protecting our reputations, our personal ‘brands’ and ensuring we don’t burn bridges. It’s very simple.