Whenever I’ve left a company or organization I’ve always tried not to burn the bridge. You never know when you will need it again.

Employers love it when you leave right. Leaving wrong closes doors.

Sometimes leaving wrong can’t be helped. But in 90% of the cases I think it can be done right.

What does right look like? Give good lead time for your employer to know you are moving on to something new. Employers like it when they have time to think strategically. Ask, “Is there anything I can do to not burn the bridge?” and listen carefully to their response. Try to do one or two things that will help but don’t break your back at the same time.

Ask employers to be your cheer leaders. See if they will be a reference for you. At times be bold and ask them to continue to be part of your life network. Ask if they would be willing to give advice from time to time in the future if it is something you genuinely want.

I recently reconnected with a previous employer and the conversation quickly opened doors for me to be a consultant and to learn the ropes from him in a significant way. In addition I have flexibility and can continue in other entrepreneurial endeavors. Always look for the win-win if at all possible.