Leaving for a Competitor Without Burning Bridges: 8 Helpful Tips


Post pandemic, many of us had the time to reflect on our lives and as we hustle to get back on track, lots of opportunities have been born. Some of us are busy building our way on existing career paths, and some are also considering taking up new ones and other possible directions to get ahead in our careers. However, changing or leaving your current employer may not be that easy for everyone, especially for those people who are planning to join a competitor over their current job. Aside from the fact that it is hard to resist such an enticing offer from a rival company, it could also be excruciating to think that ties can be cut loose, or legal cases may occur if you decide to cross over.


  1. Data Privacy and Agreement

Before anything else, take some time to go through your contract with your existing employer. Cautiously check if you have an existing bond or period stating when you can freely join a competitor after separation and ensure to take note of the confidentiality agreement that you have signed with them. These are very important because your company might take legal actions against you. Hence the best thing to do is:

  • Follow and comply with the bond – as much as possible, make sure to align timing with the suggested grace period of working in another firm stated in your contract.
  • Keep sensitive or private information to yourself – be reminded of what and what not to share once you started your journey with your new employer. Data privacy can be very crucial as sharing confidential information can lead to criminal cases. 
  1. Secure a formal notice

To start off, create a formal notification letter of your resignation. It does not have to be that long and explanatory. Keep it simple and straight to the point. It would be better if you could toggle points such as being grateful for your experiences and learnings during your stay, and that you are still considering opportunities that might arrive in the future. 

  1. Be constructive, not destructive

Professionalism, especially at work, is essential.

  • Always be considerate, formal, and focused
  • Treat others with courtesy and respect
  • Avoid making bad statements about your employer and continue to value their assets and properties

Just because you are leaving, it does not mean that it is okay to disregard and disrespect what you had with your employer.


  1. Transparency

Transparency is always an important factor in these types of situations. As much as possible, try to speak to your boss and discuss with them the reason why you are leaving as this will create a space for better understanding.

What’s valuable is that you show honesty as much as you can. Your manager would also appreciate that you are sharing the why’s of your leaving and look at it in a way that you are also giving them a chance to speak their thoughts about your resignation.

  1. Maximize and support transition

Remember that your footprints are your legacy. Having a smooth and effective transition will surely give you the best impression. Ensure to focus on your transition phase by:

  • Sharing knowledge and best practices to your successor
  • Giving all the necessary access to information and files that he or she may use for references

And if your successor proves to be effective and outstanding once you left, your previous manager will remember and appreciate that you were the one who taught him/her.

  1. Appreciate

In maintaining healthy relationships, appreciation always comes in handy. Hence, make sure that you find some time to say thanks to everyone you’ve worked or friends with. A simple thank-you note to your boss and colleagues could mean a lot. 

Expressing gratitude helps people feel positive emotions. Cherishing your good experiences with them will improve your relationship and will make it easier for you to connect with each other.

  1. Ask for feedback

Feedback is always important. Asking your manager for some constructive criticism will help identify your strengths and weaknesses. Knowing these will give you insights on your top skills and room for improvements so that in your future role, you can be better. Aside from that, this will also give you an idea on what they think of you. If in case you would need a list of references for future job opportunities, you would also know the people you can rely on. 

  1. Be recognized as someone who cares and keep your lines open

Avoid only reaching out to your former colleagues just because you need help. Be someone who makes a difference whether in small or big ways, always give back.

As the saying goes, “It is not quantity that matters, quality does.” Hence, like many other relationships, staying in touch with former bosses and colleagues at least on a semi-regular basis can keep your ropes intact. This will leave them an impression of good personality and at the same time, your network remains alive. 

Who knows? Establishing and keeping a good relationship might take you somewhere farther and greater than where you are one day. These connections can open doors to new opportunities that you might have never got before.

In this post-pandemic world, many organizations are stepping up their games to adapt into this new situation where employers are flexing their offers to win potential candidates. When it comes to finding the right people with the right set of skills for your company needs, The Supply Advisory is indeed your partner in connecting you with the best candidates! Our lines are open for any of your concerns or questions about our recruitment solutions. You could also subscribe to our weekly newsletter for more updates and information. 


Aileen Apuntar-Laqui is the Director – Operations & Research at The Supply Advisory, a leading executive recruitment firm specialising in Procurement & Supply Chain.

You can view the The Supply Advisory website or contact them directly at info@supplyadvisory.com for a more detailed discussion.

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