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Let’s face it – we’ve probably all felt the temptation to do this at some stage. It’s quite rare to be leaving a job with absolutely no frustrations or criticisms. After all, you might even be leaving because you can’t stand the place!

But there are a number of reasons why it’s important to always leave a job on the best terms possible. Here are a few of them:

1. You might return

‘The Great Regret’ has been a hot topic this year. Many people decided it was time for a change, or were lured into other roles by generous salary increases before later regretting it and deciding they preferred their old role. If you’ve burned your bridges with all and sundry on the way out the door, it’s going to be a lot harder for you to ever mount a case for your return.

2. You might want a reference

Sure, you probably didn’t use your most recent job as a reference to get the new job (for the obvious reason that you’d be tipping off your employer that you’re looking to leave!). But that doesn’t mean you won’t want a reference in the future. If you’re too loose with your language, you might preclude yourself from being able to do this.

3. Everything has a ripple effect

You might have only shared your criticisms with a select few people, but people still talk. Everything you say can have an effect on your personal brand. Don’t trust your colleagues with keeping your scathing comments about the company a secret. 

You want to be known throughout your industry (and beyond!) as the person with a glass half-full attitude. The person that has a positive impact on those around them and is always a pleasure to deal with. 

There’s an old adage: great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.

It’s absolutely fine to be candid in your exit interview with a company about perceived weaknesses or cultural issues they might have. But if you do this, be sure to counter-balance your criticisms with commentary about all the positive things you enjoyed in the role. 

In other words, leave on a good note. It’s important to always stay focused on your long-term prospects and the bigger picture – don’t get bogged down in petty criticisms of things that are outside your control.