Burning Bridges… Should You or Shouldn’t You?
There’s a saying we’ve all heard at least once in our lifetime that has been around since the days of ancient Rome: “Never burn your bridges, you may need to cross them again.” If it’s true enough to still be relevant since ancient times, why are people now saying it’s okay to burn bridges in the work place? .
Our advice? No matter the situation, you should never burn those bridges. Here’s why:
It’s a small world:In the business world, everyone knows everyone! Many companies will contact former employers for a reference check before making a hiring decision. There’s also the possibility of an old colleague switching companies – you never know who you might run into down the road. Maintaining good relationships is always a good practice since it’s impossible to know who will end up where years from now.
Future employment: You may not work at the company you applied at but, you never know if someone who previously worked there as a hiring manager is now working at the new company you’re applying at.
Never say never: Before you say, “I’ll never work there again,” and leave on bad terms, consider the possibility of what might happen if there is a chance in ownership or management, or a new position opens up. This also includes maintaining good relationships before you’re ever hired on too. Blowing off an interview or “ghosting” the company thinking you’ll “never apply there again” is documented and can hinder your chance at future employment.
No matter the situation, it’s always in your best interest to be as professional as possible. If you can’t make an interview or change your mind about the position, just call the company and let them know. When leaving your current position, take all the correct steps and leave as diplomatically as possible. Even if you’re leaving for your own wellbeing due to factors out of your control, such as escaping a toxic environment, it’s still best to leave on good terms – no matter how much you might want to burn that bridge. It may not seem like it matters in the heat of the moment, but down the road it might be vital to your career trajectory. Will you be able to cross the bridge successfully or will the flames stop you?