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Burning Bridges

Blog / June 9, 2017

This is a tough one folks. We see it happen and unfortunately, there is not much we can do about it other than remind each other that it’s never a good idea to burn a bridge in business. Not with an employer, a recruiter, a co-worker, an applicant.  The world goes round and round and so does your inner network. We all must try to think long term and not act rashly towards a person or situation you may be in. Impulsive behaviors without a second thought are often harmful to both sides.

Some examples of burning bridges:

No call no show to an interview. Unfortunately, this happens. It’s a big reason we always interview people in person as we need to make sure they can do the most basic request…show up when they say they will.  Did your car break down? Call. Are you sick? Call. Lost and need directions? Call.  It’s pretty simple. Stuff happens and most interviewers will be understanding if you need to reschedule (once). But having a complete disregard for their time and schedule will burn a bridge. Like most companies, Chief of Staff has a database we work from to keep up with the thousands of people we have met over the years.  It’s happened a few times where a candidate calls us and is interested in an open position, we pull up their information and see that we had marked them as the dreaded NCNS (No call no show). It’s unfortunate but we explain that had they contacted us at the time to reschedule, we would be willing to work with them. That didn’t happen so, therefore, the bridge is gone.

Quitting your job without notice. This is a bad one. We know that most people do not have to be taught that this is horrible for various reasons, but we’re going to say it anyways. You should always handle a job transition with respect. Your reputation will follow you. I personally wouldn’t hire someone who was employed, without them giving their employer notice. Just recently an individual I know left one job

to go to a similar position at another company.  The new role turned out to be very different than he thought, and ultimately was not a great company to work for.  Because he handled his departure respectfully he was able to call his previous boss and get his old job back.  This could never have happened had he burnt that bridge in his departure. Also, references! You will need a positive reference for years ahead from all previous employers, so you’ll want to ensure you leave on good terms.

We understand that sometimes you can be very unhappy with a boss, a job, a situation. It is best to keep your integrity and handle with professionalism and basic kindness. With technology and social media, your negative reactions will certainly follow you more than ever. The actions you take are permanent, and as such, it would be wise to re-examine everything, your expectations, the situation, and the party(s) involved before you douse with fuel and light the fire.

Because there is no going back once you do.