OZ pt1: “Never Burn Your Bridges…” Thanks Dad!
My dad has had tons of sayings and too many puns over the years to ever even count…but one that always stuck in my head from an early age…earlier than me even really having built many bridges….was “Never Burn Your Bridges”…mainly saying that the relationships that you have put time in to cultivate you should never destroy… and should make efforts to maintain all of your past relationships, as you never know when you might need that relationship to help you bridge some kind of gap to your future goals.
~6 months ago, January 16th, I was laid off from my job after a merger that led to multiple budget cuts and restructuring on a national scale…this was a first for me…it was surprising but not completely unexpected as I had only been in the role and market for less than 1 year and knowing the industry this type of mass restructuring while under newfound national pressure (re: Q1 after a massive merger) is not uncommon….BUT IT STILL HURT…fortunately it only hurt my ego…(side note: I later found that my ego had damaged many more things about myself and others and probably deserved it!)
I could have been angry, bitter, depressed, frustrated…I could have chosen to lash out and burn every bridge I had spent that year forming…and even potentially other future and past connected bridges…but I did not…..I didn’t let this obstacle ruin my relationships that I had spent time to form and cultivate….even better, I used it as a reason to propel relationships that I built during my year with the company AND over the course of the previous 12 years of my career.
This week, after 6 months of maintaining current relationships, re-engaging past relationships, and re-establishing a strong relationship with my mental and physical self…I was re-hired to the same company, with the same compensation, doing similar work, but for the national team….all because I had not burned any bridges!
To make a (maybe far stretched) connection….I think all of my bridges are more like side streets and alleys on my yellow brick road…and as this well crafted response on What is the deeper meaning of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum? puts it:
“…For all of us life is certain to contain scary and challenging adventures, but you’ll be okay if you can make friends with the best aspects of yourself and refuse to let the bumps and burdens close you off to what’s good in the world and what’s good in other people. Simple enough, but for those who can achieve this then there’s always delight to be experienced and magic to be found….”
….so Thanks Dad…and thanks Wizard!…back to building bridges….or laying bricks!?!?
P.S. more on my journey down the yellow brick road to Oz coming soon!