positions as certified nursing assistants are in great demand. Over the course of your career, you’re likely to change employers multiple times. And as with almost everything else one can do in the world, there is a right way and a wrong way to leave a job. If you’ve been working in corporate healthcare you’ll likely have to endure an “exit interview” with corporate HR before you fully fly the coop. The purpose of the exit interview is to provide the organization with some ideas about how to improve their workplace systems and processes. It is also an opportunity for inexperienced workers to damage their professional reputations by falling victim to any number of pitfalls. Here are some of those pitfalls culled from a list of things you should never say during an exit interview. “My boss was a jerk.” No matter how true this may be, it reflects poorly on you if you mention this to HR in your exit interview. Remember, you may want to have the ability to use that jerk as an employment reference. “My co-worker was lazy.” Any variation on the theme that has you trash talking your former co-workers makes you come across as bitter. Again, preservation of the reference is what you stand to gain by taking the high road. No matter if you were always taking up the slack for a slacking co-worker. “This place will fall apart without me.” No one is indispensable and you too will be replaced. You may be king or queen among certified nursing assistants, but the time for tooting your own horn was during the hiring interview, not the exit interview. Saying this makes you look petty. “I was never paid what I was worth and my new job pays much better.” Again, you accepted the pay rate when you accepted the job. Even if you are leaving because you feel you’re able to earn more elsewhere, it reflects poorly on you to be complaining about something you’d agreed to when you were hired. “My new job is with a much better company.” No one likes to be denigrated. You have nothing to gain and reputational points to lose by trying to make your exit interviewer feel “less than” by comparing their employer unfavorably to yours. You may be leaving. But they’re staying. Are you seeing a pattern here? Certified nursing assistants can mostly choose where and for whom they want to work. But getting the next job always depends to some extent on how you performed at the last job. An exit interview may seem like a good time to unload all the bull you were forced to swallow on the job you’re leaving. But it is far more professional to smile and be diplomatic. Living well is the best revenge. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by being petty and vindictive.