career bridge dilemmaJob and career transitions can be messy. Letting go and moving on are emotional rollercoasters. Sometimes you don’t get a choice whether to stay or go if you get fired or made redundant. Other times you make the leap because you need a change or life sucks. The one thing you have in your control is your response to any given situation. How do you leave well whatever the circumstances?

Here are some pros and cons for burning and not burning your bridges when you leave a job or career:

  • You may want to cross the bridge again later. You could get stranded, eliminating all possible return, and then it’s too late. You might gain a fresh perspective, increased energy and motivation or bring enhanced skills and experience if you decide to return to a former employer or career after a period away.
  • Moving away from a job or career can be a negative experience. Too much water under the bridge. What do you want to leave behind? What bridge do you want to build rather than burn?
  • In the moment of crisis, the wise build bridges (relationships), the foolish build dams (head in the sand, stubbornness, resistance to change). What relationships do you want to retain and why?
  • A dilemma we all face at some point is the fork in the road. How do you know which one leads to where you want to get to? A map helps (seek advice), so does that inner resource we call our intuition (coaching and mentoring can help you think it through). Preparation and research can tell you if this is a road well-travelled.
  • A bridge helps you go from one side to another over something challenging. What spark will light the bridge? Who, if not you?

From my experience, there is always learning from where I’ve been that helps inform where I am and where I go next. I’ve left some experiences and relationships behind because the landscape has changed (companies go bust, change direction, different people in place) so there is no bridge to build. People move jobs and careers more often today and that presents opportunities for maintaining relationships with people that you like, admire and value. It’s called networking.

“The wisdom of bridges comes from the fact that they know the both sides, they know the both shores!” Mehmet Murat ildan

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