Help!… Jerry is burning the bridge

burn bridge, employee burn bridge, burning bridges, burn bridges

While not directly related to personal finance, it can have big implications on your job search should you burn the bridges behind you.  Let’s face it if you are looking for work and there are burnt bridges out there it can make it a little more difficult and that my friend will affect your finances…badabing!  Let me share with you a little story of something that happened at work this past week.

 Jerry was a happy employee of my company (1),his boss left the company to go work elsewhere.  His boss contacts Jerry and recruits him to work there with him.  Jerry obliges and accepts the job to work with his new boss at company (2).  Jerry turns in his resignation and a competitor entered our market and Jerry is approached by company (3).  Jerry decides after going back and forth with wage increases between company (2) & (3), that company (3) is the way to go.  Jerry burned 2 bridges in this scenario.

Jerry burned his bridge at my company by leaving to go work with his former boss whom had recruited him and he also burned the bridge at his bosses company.  Jerry leveraged companies 2 and 3 to increase his rate of pay for his own benefit.  Jerry was pretty selfish.

I think that if Jerry had any kind of ethics when he put in his resignation to our company and notified company 2 that he had accepted the job, he should have upheld that allegiance and gone to work there.  For that I cannot respect him as a professional in the industry that we work.  Pretty stupid for Jerry considering the census for the area is less than 100,000. 

I understand why he did it he wanted to go with a company who he saw was moving into the area and he would get to develop that market.  I also appreciate the fact that he wanted to make the most money for his family. 

Well I have news for him; he is a middle aged man and likely may change jobs again.  This area is small and it could very well impact his future employment in this industry.  So with that, the best of luck to you Jerry!!!!

You never want to burn a bridge that you don’t have to, sure we all have changed jobs at one time or another but you want to go out on your former employer’s good graces.  Chances are that you will cross paths with your former employer at some point. 

Mutual respect of yourself and your employer should be taught in the grade school system.  This knowledge is essential to personal relationships.  We can apply this same principle to friends, family, and any other group or organization you are part of.  This will make parting much easier and can only benefit you in the future. 

I don’t even know why something like this needed to be posted, but sometimes the obvious needs to be pointed out, eh Jerry?  Don’t be Jerry!  Part with your dignity and your head high, because you never know when you may need to call upon your former employer or colleague.

Do you know any Jerry’s?  Have you ever burned a bridge?  Ever had to go back after you burnt a bridge to try and salvage it?  Go ahead, you can share!!

PHOTO BY: Idiom Savant

22 thoughts on “Help!… Jerry is burning the bridge

  1. I never, ever, try to burn a bridge. Especially so early on in my career its unbelievably important to keep my bridges intact.

    1. @ Daisy – you hit the nail on the head. Me neither, I am turning 30 next month, OMG I am gonna cry!! Especially you never know when you may need someone to call on. You are always going to question their integrity from now on out if you have to deal with Jerry!

  2. Jerry is busy negotiating his offer because now he can. Earlier his employer did’nt listened to him, now he is. Jerry thinks he deserves more. are all ethics only for Jerry? not his employer?
    may be you are right Chris but I have deep sympathy with Jerry

    1. @ Karunesh – do you think putting 2 employers against one another to rack up your salary is good business? He said he was going to work at employer 2 and left employer 1 and now employer 3 enters the picture and tries to take him from employer 2. Yes I do agree that the employers 2 and 3 were not acting ethical as well, thanks for pointing that out.

      1. I agree with you. what Jerry is doing is not right. He is using a wrong way to increase his salary. but Jerry must be having certain set of skills those companies need so much that they are fighting each other.
        I favor Jerry because I have observed a few “ethics” of corporate world.
        – If I am not earning profit for my company they would throw me out the next day. most of the companies don’t care much with Loyalty of employees, neither they care how hard working/skilled person you are. They only care for the profits in that quarter.
        – They would not pay me more till I do not cry aloud for it. If you ask for money they ask for a solid reason.
        Jerry is created by this corporate culture.

        1. @ Karunesh – there isnt another company like his in the area. Company 2 was an hour a way and company 3 was going to come and set up shop in the area. That is very true about the corporate culture, which is why I think many younger generations see their employer in a different light than the baby boomer generation. Baby boomers found a job and stayed there for their entire life. The younger generations don’t think anything out of the norm with having 5-10 jobs over their career. Karunesh thanks for the discussion. I enjoy hearing other individuals perspectives, because when I write it I am sometimes only seeing my perspective. I didnt necessarily think or see that the corporate environment that we have created has only made Jerry act this way. Do you know anyone that has ever burnt a bridge and tried to come back after burning the bridge? Were they successful?

  3. If Jerry was happy with your company, then it’s likely that he would have been better off staying there. If it was a question of increased income, then he should have sat down with you one-on-one, and tried to negotiate for higher pay. If he had done this, the negotiation might have ended as a win-win for both of you. Unfortunately, he behaved hastily, and in the end, he hurt you, company #2, and ultimately himself. How sad! This was a great read. Enjoyed it a lot.

    1. @ Anthony – I was disappointed to learn of it happening and personally knowing Jerry, I was disappointed in him. The way he was bragging about pitting the 2 employers against one another rubbed me the wrong way. Thankfully he doesn’t know that I blog and shared his story with the world. Have you ever run across someone that has burnt a bridge and tried to come back after the bridge was burnt? Any success?

  4. I completely agree with you. You need to stay on good terms on with former employers. For one, they can put in a good word for you at a different job and two, if there is a time when you can’t find a job you may be able to go back to and work for them. Very important not to burn bridges.

    1. @ Katie – have you ever left a job and had to go back to that employer for work? Very good points that you make!

  5. I have no problem with an employee pitting two employers against each other to get the best possible salary. It sounds like Jerry made the mistake of first accepting the offer from company #2 though. If it weren’t for that detail, I think all bridges could’ve remained intact.

    I can definitely attest to the importance of staying on good terms with previous employers. On more than one occasion I have went to work for a former employer. Not only was it easier to secure a job through them, but it was a much smoother adjustment. If your industry has limited opportunities, this becomes even more important.

    1. @ Jeremy – that is exactly where I see that he erred. I dont mind pitting 2 or 3 against one another but the moment he accepted company 2 offer I think he should have gone and worked there. I have never went back to work at an employer that I left, but I have also not burned any bridges if I ever had to.

  6. I’m in a situation where I’m afraid of burning bridges. I’m on a one year leave from work. I need to call them soon to see if and when they would have a position for me to return to in August. The thing is, I want to look around and see if I can find something else. If I don’t return to my former employer, who told me he would definitely have a job for me, do you think I’m burning bridges? He is the CFO of a major corporation.

    1. @ Analytical Planner – While on your one year LOA, have you been filling out FMLA paperwork or anything to keep a position available for you when you return? Why don’t you want to return if you don’t mind me asking? Have you been stringing him along alluding to the fact that you were planning on coming back to work there?

      1. No, I haven’t been stringing him along. When I asked for a one year leave they approved it and made sure to tell me they didn’t legally have to take me back. I made sure to tell them I understood. After that, my boss told me not to look for another job because he would try his best to find one for me on my return. FMLA only covers 12 weeks. I filed the paperwork and it got approved. I’m on extended LOA.
        I don’t want to go back to my job because I wasn’t happy there the first couple of years. Last year was much better because I wasn’t the only one in my department anymore. If I return, I don’t know what position they would offer. They have since filled my position. This is the short version 🙂

        1. @ Analytical Planner- I think telling your boss that you would like to part ways and that you appreciate everything he has done for you would be the best route. Doing it sooner rather than later would be the best. If you do it now you could mention that you do not have another job lined up but that you just want to pursue other opportunities after you have done some thinking. I might neglect to mention the part that you are not happy, I would probably phrase it that you think the time has come to pursue other opportunities and this job doesn’t align with your career aspirations. Good luck, I would love to know how you do it when you do mention it. What do you think readers, what would you advise my friend?

  7. I’ve had a couple people recently leave my company and although they left on good terms (it seemed), I know some of the things that came up in their exit interviews and they were not so nice. I think it’s easy to believe that everything you say in your exit interview with stay with HR…but it doesn’t. If you make big complaints HR will more then likely go back to your boss to figure out what was going on. And then the “cat’s out of the bag”.

    1. @ Kari – very interesting you point that out, true you think you leave on good terms and then HR makes you feel all warm and fuzzy thinking you can share anything you want with them. Then BAM you are on bad terms with your ex employer without even realizing it, exit interviews are good for employers because I think sometimes they trick the employee into giving feedback and a false sense of security that it is going to stay only in HR. As you have seen def not the case!

      What do you think is an adequate amount of time to give for notice? I have heard professional positions 4 weeks and hourly 2 weeks.

      1. I’d say 3-4 weeks depending on the industry, but I’ve also known companies to escort employees out of the building as soon as they resign. One of my good friends was working at a marketing firm. As soon as she resigned they wanted her out asap (like we’ll watch you pack your desk), I guess they were afraid she’d take their clients with her.

        1. @ Kari – yeah that is where you are in the catch 22, do you be respectful and give them the additional time to find a replacement and risk losing your own job before your other job starts. Or do you wait till almost last minute and give them 2 weeks notice and make sure you have enough in your emergency fund to hold you over should you get immediately terminated. I hope they would atleast give some type of severance if you are told to go right away.

  8. As the saying goes, people will remember how you left long after they’ve forgotten how you came in. It pays to leave good memories.

    1. @ 101 Centavos – they won’t remember all the good you did, but they will certainly remember the jerk you were when you were on your way out. I thought it was common sense to leave on good terms, but apparently not.

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