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

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

If you saw our first video, you might have heard about the awkward situation one of our viewers, Cam submitted. He's been working at a job for awhile, but recently overheard a hiring manager making fun of a candidate with autism right after an interview-not only awkward, but VERY unprofessional!

SHOW MORE Show less

In this week's episode of "Well This Happened", we want to know what you would do if witnessed a hiring manager at your organization making fun of a candidate who they had just interviewed who had autism.

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

Starting a family is one of the biggest milestones in a person's life. It's in those first few months when a parent can really bond with their newborn and make lifelong memories. However, for some new dads, it can be difficult to juggle being a new parent while remaining dedicated to their career.

Fortunately, some companies have generous paternity leave policies that give new dads the ability to take time off of work to stay home with their child.

SHOW MORE Show less

There are LOTS of questions around resume dos and don'ts. There's so much advice out there that it can be overwhelming to try and figure out what's the correct answer.

During our weekly live Office Hours on YouTube, two of our coaches, Ariella Coombs and J.T. O'Donnell, answer questions live from viewers related to their job search, career success, on the job situations and more.

We complied a simple list of what we find to be the most common questions our coaches get about resumes. We hope you find this helpful.

Let's start with the basics...

SHOW MORE Show less

Back in March, we made the hard decision to change our private Facebook group of over 37 THOUSAND members to a fee-based only platform.

SHOW MORE Show less

In this week's episode of "Well This Happened", we want to know what you would do if a recruiter called you a day EARLY for your phone interview (and you were NOT PREPARED!)

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 caught our last video in our latest series, "Well This Happened..." you heard about the problem one of our viewers is having with their co-worker. To recap, they have a colleague that overshares a little too much, and they weren't sure how to go about addressing this. We had some great responses from our viewers on how they think our friend should handle this. Check out the answer below and let us know if you guessed right or not!

SHOW MORE Show less

Negotiating salary can be a scary, intimidating experience. However, if you go in prepared, it doesn't have to be that way - you can confidently negotiate for a salary you deserve. But how?

SHOW MORE Show less