Career Recruitment – 2018 Jobs Vacancy What To Do When You Burn Bridges At You Last Job Kenya
Job Employment Kenya: 2018 Jobs Vacancy What To Do When You Burn Bridges At You Last Job Kenya
Job Description: Today Work Kenya

By Kibet Tobias

We all want to succeed in life, be it in a personal or professional sense. However, at one point or another, we make mistakes out of quick decisions that can destroy what we have built.

Consider Mark’s case for instance. When he moved from his first accounting job to the next, he made the mistake that most professionals are always told to avoid: burning bridges.

Mark says:

After working for an IT company as an accountant for 3 years, I decided to resign because my employer refused to raise my salary yet the responsibilities kept on increasing. Luckily, I got another job offer before handing in my resignation. And while leaving the company, I made a point of disclosing my new salary to colleagues, who already felt underpaid. I didn’t give any notice to my manager which he said was a breach of contract. I told him I had had enough of their treatment and didn’t care. 4 months later, I feel guilty having left on bad terms.”

Having worked for the new company for 6 months, his department was restructured. He lost his new job again.

To start with, Mark’s case is not special. Many a time, people will build a successful career path only burn bridges when switching jobs.

What happens when you want to go back to the previous company you left on bad terms? How do you rebuild your reputation?

I spoke to Ms Ida Kibunja, a recruiter at Corporate Staffing Services and according to her here are a few ways to rebuild your reputation.

1. Take small steps

According to Ida, you first need to examine what actually happened.

Reach out to your existing contacts from the same company.

The incident you may perceive as a major one may not even have had such an impact on those you left.

“If you still have some solid contacts with your former co-workers in the company, reconnect with them to get a sense where you stand with top management. Find out what they think about your reputation and whether they can recommend you to the hiring manager.” Ms Kibunja says.

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2. Take responsibility

Having examined your reasons, Ms Kibunja says it is important to take responsibility and apologize. Think about what you’re going to apologize for, and why you’re sorry for it.

If possible, you can contact the human resource manager to see whether they would be willing to meet with you.

If you get the opportunity, talk about what you’ve learned from that experience.

According to Ms. Kibunja, let them know how much you truly enjoyed working there and would like to return. Demonstrate to the HR that this was an isolated case that you truly regret and would not repeat.

“Be sincere and take responsibility for your part in what went wrong and make sure the other person has a chance to tell you about things from their perspective,” she says.

3. Believe that you still stand a chance

Despite what previously happened, chances are the hiring team will recognize the unique expertise and skills you brought to the company having previously worked there.

So it is possible they will consider you for the position you apply for.

People go back to their previous jobs all the time no matter how bad you left things; as long as you didn’t engage in anything illegal, if you explain your case, they can forget the whole incident and take you back.

In the end,

While there are valid reasons for quitting your job, you still want to be in good terms with your soon-to-be-former co-workers and bosses. It is easy to get swept up in the excitement of getting a new job, but know that the same people may serve as your references in future. Burning bridges may hurt your next job search.

Tobias is a communication assistant at Career Point Kenya. Email

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