Burning Bridges Can Burn You

You know the importance of not burning bridges when things go sour at work and you end up losing your job. But in the heat of the moment, and being human, we might just forget that critically important head knowledge and react rather than respond.

It’s not always easy to leave on good terms, especially when you’ve been wronged. However, there is leaving with hard feelings, which can be understood, and leaving by throwing a grenade behind you and completely charring anything and everything behind you.

A few weeks ago there was just such a moment in my Linkedin newsfeed. This gentleman, obviously hurt and angry, took his emotional reaction one step further by publicly eviscerating his boss, and then stating that he was looking for a new position within a specific geographic region.

In this age of social media, you just know this is going to go south for him quite rapidly. In fact, it is no doubt already there. The world is a very small place, made smaller by geography and industry. The scathing words posted on a public forum can, and no doubt will, be found by those within the search community. And, it is almost impossible to “take them back.” And what was said and how it was said speak volumes about who this person is.

Here are a couple suggestions so you don’t end up in the heat of the moment saying or doing something that you will ultimately regret. And let’s not forget the unforgiving press releases that are circulated on social media when a CFO does lose his position, because somebody has to take the fall.

Maintain control by being proactive

Losing control is never fun. If you wait until you need a job before you position yourself to get that next opportunity, you are not in control. Rather, you are at the mercy of companies and recruiters and the entire train wreck that constitutes the job search process.

Long before you need a job or want a new position, with “long” being defined as 9-12 months, begin positioning yourself for that new position. You are much more desirable as a candidate when you have value but don’t need a job than you are when you are unemployed and in need. You can always say no to an opportunity. But you want those opportunities coming your way even while gainfully employed so that you maintain control of your career.

Find a non-public outlet for your emotional roller coaster

This goes beyond just the immediate reaction of losing your position. It carries right into the interview process. Even if you are using all the right words, any anger or feelings of injustice can slip through in your tone and your body language.

If you can leave on good terms, great. If you can’t, practice telling your story, honestly and truthfully, free from any lingering hostile emotions until you can do talk about what happened without any negativity in your delivery and body language. It is not easy, but it is necessary. Having the exact right opportunity within reach only to lose it to lingering negativity would only add more fuel to the anger.

Give me a call if you need help with value positioning or working through how to talk about your last employment situation or anything else related to the frustrating job search process.

Copyright CFO-Coach 2017


Cindy Kraft is the CFO-Coach and America’s leading Career & Personal Brand Strategist for Corporate Finance Executives helping clients understand their marketability, articulate their value, and position themselves as the clear and compelling choice. She is a Certified Reach Personal Brand Strategist, Certified Reach Online Identity Strategist, Certified Career Management Coach, Credentialed Career Master, Certified Professional Resume Writer, and Job & Career Transition Coach. Cindy can be reached via email Cindy@CFO-Coach.com, by phone 813-727-3037, or through her website at www.CFO-Coach.com.

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