It's tempting when leaving a job to chew out the employer with a litany of reasons for the departure.
These days, workers have an opportunity to do just that. Many
companies conduct exit interviews to find out why employees are leaving.
Even though you're leaving, workplace experts caution against
ranting. Though a tricky line, there's a difference between constructive
criticism and petty complaints or emotional outbursts.
"Never burn bridges when you leave an employer," says Linda Barkdoll,
coordinator of the human resources development graduate program at McDaniel
College. "It doesn't matter why you're leaving. First of all, you might go
back some time, 10 years from now, and people will not remember your work
performance as much as the attitude or behavior you asserted when you
That's not to say you should sugarcoat your experience. Be honest and
give examples. Leave your emotions at the door.
Instead of calling your boss a name, for instance, Barkdoll suggests
giving an example that showcases poor management.
Your feedback could leave your former colleagues in a better
situation. And that's good news for them and the employer.
"If there is a problem with a supervisor or the salary doesn't seem
competitive or a benefit people are looking for isn't offered, it may be
something a company wants to address for employee retention," Barkdoll
Here's a new reader question:
Karen from Baltimore asks how she should deal with bosses who aren't
satisfied with anything she does. "In this environment, I have no
motivation to achieve," she writes. "I have no incentive to give '200
percent' any more. I just come to work and do JUST enough to squeak by and
get paid until retirement. My heart is not in it anymore."
Workplace experts say there is little you can do to change a boss.
You only have control over your own actions.
"We don't have the authority or the power to change others into
people that we would like for them to be, nor can we always control our
circumstances," says Tracy McCullom, president and chief executive of the
Nolan Group, a workplace consulting firm in Joppa.
McCullom suggests focusing on any positive aspects of the job because
negative thoughts feed on each other. For instance, remember what skills
you bring and why the company hired you in the first place.
Mel Rosche, a Towson-based career coach, encourages clients in
similar situations to consider whether other possibilities such as personal
issues or burnout may be influencing work dissatisfaction.
Either way, Rosche suggests having a meeting with the boss. Solicit
feedback and clear job expectations.
That way, "she could make a choice of whether or not it's worth
staying," Rosche said.
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