The Importance of Bridges

By, 10/07/2015

Don’t burn your bridges!” You’ve likely heard these words from a well-meaning voice before, to the point of being cliché. However, it is sound career advice, especially for younger employees.

Now, this doesn’t mean you have to be a “Yes Man” or that you should never speak up or challenge a decision you disagree with. Rather, it means you should act like a professional. Reasonable people won’t see eye-to-eye on every single issue, but there is a right and wrong way to handle disputes. The right way: use the accepted problem resolution protocol. Usually this means reaching out directly to your supervisor or manager and discussing your concerns privately. If your problem persists, you should reach out to another manager (e.g. someone in Human Resources) to address your issue.

The wrong way: airing out your business with anyone and everyone who will listen or resorting to backhanded, petty methods of displaying your displeasure. Not only could this disrupt your colleagues, who have nothing to do with the problem, but it also broadcasts a sense of immaturity on your part. People talk, and a “difficult-to-work-with” reputation is hard to shake. It also could follow—and limit—your future career prospects.