Thousands of years ago, bridge burning was a
military strategy, used to sever the route
between your troops and an advancing enemy.
It also meant there was no returning to
where you’d just been: You were committed to
marching onward, no matter what happened.
While not quite so dramatic in the modern
office world, figurative burned bridges can
be just as hard to undo. There’s no single
definition of what exactly a burned business
bridge is, but you know it when it happens.
Maybe you battle a coworker for years and
then don’t show up to her farewell party.
Maybe you mess up your first big contract
assignment with a new company, or resign in
a dramatic huff, or tell a boss what you
really think of him on your last day.
Burning a bridge may feel good at the time—
it can be the easy way out of an awkward
situation, a release of pent-up anger, a
chance to let your emotions take over—but
the ashes can follow you personally and