A number of weeks ago I was hanging out in a part of town that was having a sort of street party and happened to run into a couple of friends of ours who were walking through the area. We got to talking and one of them made mention that he had just hired a new position at his company. He gave the name of that individual and I instantly knew who he had hired.

In a town like Omaha, NE where it’s not a major metropolitan city, but it is considered a large city you end up knowing a lot of people in the industry and know of a lot of people, and information gets passed around as the Web/Development industries are a pretty close niche. We began to talk about the individual that he had hired and he began to find that he didn’t have a hugely favorable reputation among a couple of us at the party.

Doing what’s right when exiting from a job is your responsibility weather you like it or not. It’s a contract you signed when you took the job. Bailing from a job and not providing notice is essentially like breaking off from your credit card provider and not paying what’s left on your card because today you don’t feel like paying. The same standard applies, in the credit world your rating takes a hit. In the professional world your rap takes the hit.

3 different times in the last 4-5 years I have seen different colleagues take their professional reputation and smash it. Although I still like all the individuals personally they just didn’t handle the situation the right way, and their professional reputation now has blemishes on it, not only with me but with others in the area that the individual worked, in the HR department and among others that knew them and learned of how they behaved during their final days at the company.

Although the example I talked about in the first paragraph didn’t result in any negative consequences for the subject, he is lucky in the fact that the friend of mine didn’t talk to me first as his application may have made it’s way to the trash rather then the desk.

That’s how thin the line between hire or trash can be. Nothing I have ever heard or seen has been a good enough reason to quit without proper notice. Nothing takes you far enough away to escape your past. The world is digital, and it’s amazing how small the world can be.

Your reputation is earned, not made. Don’t tarnish your reputation, because like credit it’s hard to get back.