How To Change Jobs Without Burning Bridges

Dear J.T. & Dale: I am in discussions with a prospective employer. They have asked for a letter from my current management or HR/legal department stating that there is no "conflict of interest" in me pursuing employment with them. That's because they continuously get business from my current company. I don't want to jeopardize my job, but I am very interested in bigger things with the other company. Advice? Do you know how to change jobs without burning bridges? - Sam DALE: Ayyyy... this is one of those situations that's like asking your best friend if it's OK to date his ex-wife - even if he says it's OK, it's not OK. Corporate example: Early in my career, I worked for a Fortune 500 company. One of our consultants and I became friendly, and we started talking about me working for him. He went to the head of my division and got permission to hire me. I started the new job, and all was fine - until the company president heard what had transpired and declared that the consultant would get no further assignments, ever, saying, "We can't set a precedent that it's acceptable for a supplier to cherry-pick our employees." Thus did my new employer lose its biggest client, touching off a financial death spiral. The result? I had to hurriedly find another job. J.T.: However, if you are determined to pursue the other company, tell them that you will ask your employer for the permission letter only AFTER you receive a written job offer. Tell them that they can make their offer contingent on you getting the permission letter, but get the offer in writing. That will mean one less risk. DALE: Asking for a written offer will, I feel certain, put an end to the discussion. After all, the company you want to work for wants you to get a letter to cover them, and giving you a written offer is creating proof that they're pursuing one of their client's employees, thus uncovering them. It just isn't worth the risk, on either side. Feel free to send questions to J.T. and Dale via e-mail at advice@jtanddale.com or write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th Street, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10019. © 2012 by King Features Syndicate, Inc. Image Credit: Shutterstock

If you saw our first video, you might have heard about the interview situation one of our viewers, Remi submitted. He was in an interview and was asked the question: How many cows are there in Canada right now? - What a weird question but this is a technique that some hiring managers are using these days.

SHOW MORE Show less

If you saw our first video, you might have heard about the awkward situation one of our viewers, Kevin submitted. He is a college student who's working a part time job to make ends meet. The manager/owner of the company has become a micro-manager who watches him work on camera and reads his company emails. A bit over the top wouldn't you say?

SHOW MORE Show less

All work and no play can create a tense and unwelcoming environment. Studies have shown that employers that offer additional perks have employees that are happier and more loyal to their place of employment. If you are looking for an employer that acknowledges how important it is to give its employees a place to de-stress and bond with their co-workers, check out these companies!

SHOW MORE Show less

In this week's episode of "Well This Happened", we want to know what you would do if you worked for an owner who micro-manages you my watching you work on camera and reading through your company emails.

We want YOU to be the career coach and tell us which one is the RIGHT answer!

Think you know? Vote below, and stay tuned for later this week when we announce the right answer (and why the other ones are wrong).

SHOW MORE Show less

If you saw our first video, you might have heard about the awkward situation one of our viewers, Diane submitted. She has recently worked with a co-worker on a group project. When it came time to present the project at a meeting, Diane let her co-worker present. While it went great, the co-worker proceed to take credit for nearly all of Diane's work. Frustrating to say the least!

SHOW MORE Show less

In this week's episode of "Well This Happened", we want to know what you would do if your co-worker took credit for the work you did...right in front of your colleagues AND boss!

We want YOU to be the career coach and tell us which one is the RIGHT answer!

Think you know? Vote below, and stay tuned for later this week when we announce the right answer (and why the other ones are wrong).

SHOW MORE Show less