Prior to starting an Executive Talent agency, I worked in corporate American for 30 years as a technology executive. In all those years, I was only terminated one time, and it taught me a great lesson – never work at a company or job you don’t like. I would say “hate”, but my Mom taught me to never use that word.

I was a Director of Technology at LA Gear. You remember them, right? Great marketing/branding…but the shoes fell apart. After several years in a Director level role for a financial services company, LA Gear enticed me away with a larger compensation package. Anyone ever tell you if something looks to good to be true, it probably is?

My boss was the CIO. She came from a big consulting company, and it was her first CIO gig. Without going into details, let’s just say we did not agree on a few things. Specifically, the way she talked to people; the way she treated people. After six months, I was miserable.

One day we were having a discussion and she said, “You’re fired.” I carpooled that day, so I had to take my box of stuff from my office and go sit on the curb to wait for a ride. Made a decision right then and there – I would never work a single day at a job I did not like (hated). And I never have. Now I own the company, so I can’t really quit. My point is this – life is too short to stay in a company you don’t enjoy.

The Right Way to Leave a Job – First, don’t quit until you find another job. This is a very tough economy with very few senior level jobs. Second, shake hands and part friends. I see candidates every day that burned their bridges on the way out. It may make your ego feel better, but down the road it may come back to haunt you. Leave in a professional manner. Third, let go and let God. I regularly see candidates that are bitter and unhappy, mostly because they are dwelling on being terminated or laid off. Companies want to hire happy smiley people. Let it go!


Mark Wayman is the Founder of The Foundation, LLC, a boutique executive placement firm focused on gaming and high tech.  His “Candidate Career Guide” service includes polishing your resume, the eBook “The Godfather’s Career Guide: What To Do If You Get Whacked”, and one dedicated hour of time to discuss your career strategy. It’s $500 by phone or $1,000 in person.  The best candidate rarely gets the job – the best prepared candidate does.  God bless!