Why You Should Never Burn Bridges in Business

When looking for a new job or starting a new career path, it helps to have good connections within your profession, whether it’s employers, coworkers, or contacts in the field. There’s a reason people say “it’s all about who you know”, and depending on how you left things with a person or company, they could either be a great resource or a bad reference. Here are a couple of tips that will help you to not burn bridges at work.

Keep Things Professional

When you’re faced with a situation that makes you want to write someone off, or could lead to an argument, try your best to remain calm and keep things from getting personal. Two ways to do that are:

Active Listening: Actively listen to what your business partner, coworker, or leader is telling you – don’t just wait to respond. Take a moment to simply listen, or if it’s an email, to read what is being said to you. Tone can get misconstrued in writing, and sometimes people say things they don’t mean. When you show respect by actively listening, and responding in an appropriate manner, you will have a much better outcome.

Wait To Respond: When problems or conflicts arise, as they inevitably will in any workplace, take 24 hours to respond if possible. Acting or making decisions out of anger or strong emotion can lead to unprofessional actions that you later regret.

Consider the Options

Conflict is uncomfortable, and most people will want to work toward solutions. Are there common goals you can work towards? Or is there a way you can get better alignment and understanding? These conversations may require negotiating and compromises however, as long as you’re both working together to find a solution, that’s a positive outcome.

Bring in a Mediary

It may require more time to figure out a shared solution, or sometimes you may feel angry or upset over a situation beyond a 24 hours. In these scenarios, it may be best to bring in a 3rd party to help mediate the situation. If you’ve tried to find a solution with someone directly and it isn’t working out, it’s time to either pull in your boss, or reach out to the Human resources department. By bringing in a third party who can act as a mediator, you should be able to resolve the solution in a professional manner.

Next Steps

Sometimes, even after following these steps, you may determine you longer want to stay at your place of employment. This happens at times and when it does, it’s best to resign respectfully. Follow company policy when leaving, such as giving the appropriate notice, which varies by employer but is usually at least two weeks.

Some companies may conduct an exit interview, at which point it can be helpful to give honest and professional feedback about your reasons for moving on. Whether there is an interview or not, it’s best not to use rude or inflammatory language as it will reflect poorly on you. You never know if your life circumstances may change, you may wish to return to the company one day, or you may need to use the company as a reference in the future. Resigning respectfully helps keep doors open.

If you’re someone whose looking at other work options, consider contract staffing with Arbor Associates. Experiencing different environments can help solidify what you’re looking for in a workplace, and if you’re searching for a new job it’ll allow you to pick up shifts around your schedule.

We’re a leader in contract staffing roles in health care, education, and other caring professions, and our recruiters will listen to help you find the right fit. Contact us today or check out our open positions to get started!