Don’t Burn Your Bridges

Recently one of my colleagues was removed from her position and placed elsewhere. She wasn’t fired, but she definitely wasn’t promoted either. It’s a tricky situation that makes things awkward for her and everyone else in our unit. No one wants that to happen to anyone, and where I work things can easily go from normal to a total shake up in the blink of an eye.

To make matters worse, this colleague had no plans of going out quietly. She was clearly upset (which is totally understandable) and felt betrayed by what happened. These are all normal feelings that everyone can relate too. However, going out of your way to bash everyone and their mother and make life harder for your colleagues by not picking up your own slack before you leave isn’t the way to vent your frustrations. All you’re doing is burning bridges, which, while it feels good in the moment is a terrible, terrible idea. Here are two reasons why.

burning bridges

  1. We live in a small world. Have you ever heard that saying “it’s such a small world”? Well you know what? It really is, so be careful about what you say and who you burn. You never know where people will end up and someone you rubbed the wrong way on your way out might eventually become your supervisor. It’s fairly common in my organization to have a shake up like that where all of a sudden your colleague is now your direct manager. Don’t get yourself into an even muddier situation by talking trash and making life harder for those around you because if the chance comes to get you back, someone might just return the unwanted favor.
  2. Don’t lose your professional respect. Don’t throw out the professional respect that you’ve earned like last night’s take out. During situations like this it’s imperative that you give respect in order to get respect. You may not hold the same amount of respect for people as you previously did, but take the high road. People will admire you more for your strength to rise above instead of trying to pull everyone down out of spite.

So, if you’ve been demoted, laid off, or just put in an awkward situation that’s left you feeling crappy, don’t burn those bridges just yet! I know it’s hard, but save your vulgar angry responses for when you get home and you’re screaming into a pillow. It’ll do you no good to cut off main people in your field, especially if you’re still working for the same organization but in a different capacity. It hurts, but be strong and rise above it. You’ll gain more respect and have a brighter future taking the high road.

Now, it’s your turn. Have you ever been demoted or laid off? How did you handle it?


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