Starting Up? 4 Ways to Turn Your Former Employer Into an Ally

I can’t really explain what’s the meaning of risk, but I can give you, at least, this; when you choose to quit your job and put up a business of your own, that is a risk!


It can only be made easier if you try and start up in the field you know best.


Ian McAfee has a mid-level executive job at a well-known forex brokerage firm. Late 2009, he decided to quit the job and start a company in the same industry. With less than $15,000 on hand, Ian and two partners started a firm that provides consulting services to forex firms. In its’ first year of business, the Shift Forex brought in $200,000 in revenue.


A portion of this success, according to Ian, is because of the strong relationship he and his former employer has.


Here are some tips on how your former employer can be made a valuable asset of your company.

  1. 1.       Show respect.

Ending up in bad terms with your company is what you aim to avoid here. You should let the company know that you have done your best while you are working for them.


This means refraining from talking to the clients, suppliers and employees of the company with the exception of your co-founders about the business until you have officially left. Researching, strategizing, planning and securing funding are probably the only activities you can do while you are still at the company.

  1. 2.       Share your plan when you leave.

The owners and managers of your current employer might think that you are planning to steal their customers away or provide the same service as they are when they hear that you’ll be leaving. Despite the possible similarities, there would still be a difference between their customer focus and yours.


Explaining your plans to an executive or maybe to the owner himself will surely assure them that you are less than a threat. They may still feel that you are raising competition but the fact you have informed them will show a high degree of integrity but if they still have objections and they believe that they have every right to prevent your new venture, it will give you the chance to make friendly compromises.


  1. Offer to help with the transition.

If you are playing an important role in your current company, your departure is sure to leave a gap. You can at least offer to accomplish certain tasks or handle limited responsibilities for some time. They may not accept it but this shows you care.


This will imply that even if you are about to leave you still want to have a good relationship with them.

  1. 4.       Let them know how they can help.

A major benefit of being in good terms with your former employer is that you can ask for their help when the time comes. They can provide references, refer clients or provide favorable vendor terms. Even if you end up working with their competitors, you can still have their trust because of how well you have handled your departure.


Next read…5 Ways to Think Like an Entrepreneur in Your Career


Article contributed by Startup Jobs Asia‘s Team.

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