Do not burn your (Sydney Harbour) Bridges

Do not burn your (Sydney Harbour) Bridges

13 Jul 09:00 by Chris Davies


Sydney. The global city, home to over 5 million people, opportunities galore!

All of these things are true, but what people might fail to recognise is that it’s actually a pretty small world, particularly when it comes to my experience in dealing with recruitment in the sales and contact centre space over the past 5 years. I find myself coming across the same people repeatedly and if I’ve had some form or interaction/relationship with them I will remember it 99% of the time, regardless of when and where. I’m sure a lot of you are the same.

Everybody is aware of the expression “never burn your bridges.” What does it mean? The short story is ending a relationship in a way that makes it difficult or even impossible to go back on.

In a professional/recruitment sense burning a bridge can be quitting a job one day without notice and never returning. Burning a bridge can be accepting an offer from a company and never turning up for Day 1. It can be also be not showing up for an interview without any notice, never to be heard from again. It is very easy for people, or companies to remember who treated them poorly.

Put it this way, I get job applications from people that I’ve had the above experiences with on numerous occasions, yet they still apply to me again? It’s not just from the candidate side either. I remember every employer relationship I’ve had, every client relationship I’ve had. If you’re in the game long enough these relationships change. Candidates to clients, clients to candidates, employees to employers and vice versa. Given the unemployment numbers there are right now/ are going to be, it is now more important than ever to not leave a bad taste in someone’s mouth.

Sydneysiders, we live in a bit of a bubble. People remember the type of experiences they have, whether they be positive or negative. You only have to look at a business Google review page to see that. The realisation is that things do not always go your way in your professional life, but you still need to treat people in the same way you would like to be treated, regardless of the outcome, it could come back to haunt you. Recruiters AND the companies they represent are BOTH affected, and those bridges will be burned.  We live in a world where people are more likely to remember the people who do wrong by them. However, do things the right way and the opposite can happen and potentially open up new opportunities for you.

Food for thought. How do you treat your employees, candidates, colleagues, prospects, Salespeople?