There is a provocative — and excellent — article from Rebecca Thorman on her Modite site called ‘Don’t burn bridges’ is bad career advice. If you think that keeping business relationships with poor managers, lousy team members and crappy companies is good career advice, you will waste a lot of energy keeping your sanity.
With all of the comments on the post, you would have thought that people shouldn’t burn bridges with anyone — but people leaving companies burn bridges all the time. The problem is they burn the bridges with their great managers, cool team members and great companies. People leave their jobs and never even get the personal contact information of the great people still working at the company.
In an age where networking includes the planet, burning bridges with great people is a career management crime.
Keeping in contact with great managers makes sense because they are in demand at companies where action is the name of the game. Great managers want people to work for them so that the entire team accomplishes what they set out to do. By not keeping contact with your great managers — burning bridges, so to speak — you lose the ability to work the great opportunities.
Likewise, if we are truly going to find work that satisfies our souls, we need to work with people who bring out our best and where we contribute solid accomplishments for our teams. Unless you keep in contact with the great team members of your past, you diminish your opportunity to find important work with the very people you love to work with.
Not that you would go back and work again at a great company. But watching successful companies is important because they lead their industry. Their success requires other companies to change direction to match the success. Watching select companies in your industry or next chosen career area will teach you the latest trends and point you in the right direction to improve your job skills.
It’s OK to burn bridges with the people you didn’t think were that much into you. But people walk away from great performers with great support all the time when they leave a company.
How many great people do you stay in contact with from your last company?