Before you burn that bridge…

Yes…some customers are horrible to deal with.  Some co-workers and managers can make your life miserable.   And yes, it would feel great to tell them exactly what you think, give them some hand signals, and a swift kick on the way out the door.

Wouldn’t that be amazing!!!


OK maybe for a day, or a few minutes…or a month it might.  But I promise you will look back later and kick yourself.  More so if you need that customer, company or person back in your life in ways you cannot imagine in the heat of whatever was going on.

Four times in my professional career (not counting a fast-food job), I have gone back to a place I previously worked.  Each time, the return trip has been in a better position and higher wages.

Why?  Because when I leave, whether due to my own choice, layoff, or other reasons, I leave clean.  At a minimum I finish my projects, document everything I can and email a very nice thank you note to my team and a few other key people.  Not one of those “Everyone” email groups…just the people I worked with the most.

Before you burn that bridge, make sure you are absolutely never going to need to cross it again.  And then don’t do it.  The view is so much nicer from the high road.

There are a myriad of article on the interwebs telling you how to deal with conflict, how to quit, how to stay, etc.   My take on all of them is basically:  Politely confront the problem or person you are facing.  Ask your supervisor for help.   Make EVERY effort to resolve it.   If resolution is impossible, start your job search with a clear conscience that you tried your best.  And start cleaning things up while you look.

Comments are encouraged and appreciated with your “Bridge burning” stories.

Thanks for reading!


(originally published on my LinkedIn feed in late 2015)


Leave a Comment

Sign up for our Newsletter

%d bloggers like this: