Don’t Burn Those Bridges

effects of burning bridgesIf you have ever worked in a company with an abrasive manager or bad coworkers chances are you have also felt the urge to snap or act irrationally. Sometimes people can be frustrating, and if you couple it with increasing stress levels in the workplace it might be the perfect storm. However, you need to remember that cooler heads prevail. If you plan on working in the same industry long term, you should remain professional, because you never know who you might run into later in your career and what role they might play. That coworker who you yelled at on Wednesday afternoon might end up being your boss five years down the road. So, before you blow up and burn your bridges, you need to think about the effect that it will have on your career later in life. You don’t want to end up working for someone with whom your relationship ended on a bad note.

How Burning Bridges Can Come Back Full Circle

Some situations require employees to express some gumption. After all, you can’t just sit back and take an onslaught of negativity if it is unwarranted. However, sometimes you just need to bite your tongue and take the onslaught, however upset it might make you. However, the simple phrase “Don’t Burn Bridges” can often times be bad career advice. If you have an abrasive manager who’s tactics are upsetting and counterproductive to your entire organization you have every right to clash heads. In fact, by doing so, you can take a position of strength and show this manager that his tactics are conducive to a productive workplace. You might be the key that makes everyone’s day more enjoyable, but more importantly more productive.

If you are sure that you won’t be working in the same industry later in life and that you won’t need a reference to further your career, then burning bridges shouldn’t be a concern to you. For example, if you quit your job in retail and know that eventually you’d like to work in health care, then don’t worry about standing your ground. You don’t have to sit back and take an onslaught from an abrasive manager if you know that you’ll never see him/her again in your career. However, if your dream is to become a retail manager, you should heed caution to the winds, because you never know if that manager will be in control when you get the job that you desire.

Burning bridges can be a dangerous career move, but if you are certain that you don’t need a reference later in your career from the company then you really shouldn’t worry about it. Sometimes managers can be frustrating. This isn’t an invitation to blow up at your boss at the next available opportunity, but if you feel threatened by an abrasive manager you should speak your mind. However, if you need the reference and know that you might see this person later in life, think twice before you lose your temper. Not only will you give yourself a bad reputation, but you also might cost yourself a favorable job in years to come.

Damage Mitigation

If you’ve already burnt a bridge and know that your actions will come full circle, try not to worry too much. Are there ways to repair the damage? Depending on the situation, most managers will understand that whatever happens in the workplace is just business. People get stressed and take their jobs seriously, and everyone makes mistakes. However, if the relationship cannot be repaired, you need to consider all of your options, but maybe it’s time to move on to either a new company or a new industry. If you’ve made bad decisions and burned important bridges, you don’t want to end up working for someone who you have had a bad experience with. They can make your life miserable, and if they are responsible for hiring, you simply won’t be getting that job any time soon. 

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