Fireproof your bridges

Hey friend,

Delighted to report that I've now been in the San Francisco area for almost two weeks and I did not, in fact, burn up on re-entry like I once thought I might have.

I've also actively avoided any part of town I used to frequent in 2013 but hey, baby steps.

I've spent the last two weeks working my way through a ton of info for the new gig, and I'll be happy to get back into the London rhythm next week.

During my stint in California, I've run into a handful people from various chapters of my life. Some pleasant, some inconsequential, some more... let's call them blast-from-the-past people.

And this Defending Your Life*-esque montage has made me really grateful that I don't have the bridge-burning gene. I will remove myself from certain personal and professional relationships over time, if I see the need -- but I'm not one to light the dynamite on my way out the door.

I wrote about this on Instagram earlier today.

Because, while we're not job-hopping as much as they say we do, we are still living through this Choose-Your-Own-Adventure career era. An era that will provide us with more options than we ever could have dreamt possible, meaning there's no real way to accurately predict where your professional situation is headed.

Sure, you may have a rough vision, but odds are that 15-years-from-now you will laugh at it fondly.

But it definitely means that no door is shut forever, and no bridge can just be wiped from the map.

To be slightly more explicit: You won't believe who you might run into, sitting at the next desk over, three jobs from now. Trust me.

So, my thought of the day is this:

Be nice to everybody. As nice as you can be. Not just your boss, not just your mentor, not just the HR team. Be nice to everybody.

I'm not so much talking about networking here, though that's obviously important. I'm more focused on the long-term repercussions of our less-than-finest moments: blasting your colleague, dating your boss, being dismissive of your intern, succumbing to a power-trip. 

You've got to take a wide-angle lens to your personal and professional life here.

Three years from now, you and that ex-colleague may really need each other. Five years from now, you and your ex-bossfriend may accidentally work together again. Seven years from now, your ex-intern is all of the sudden the person to know in your field.

So, be nice. You never know whose help you're gonna need, or who you're gonna run into. Remember that there's a difference between advocating for yourself and plotting revenge.

Play the long game. Be nice to everybody. 

Honestly, it's the simplest life-hack there is.

Big love,