Never, ever, burn bridges

It’s been a busy couple of weeks, which may, in part, explain why some time has passed since my last blog. A lot has happened and I’ve been eager to share this story with you. I just had to wait until it came to fruition. Now, I have the time and liberty to do so.

We need to go back in time to when I was still living in DC, planning to move, but hoping to land a full time job to do so. I had two great phone interviews with an organization, and was then selected as one of three finalists for the position, which I attended in person, in Seattle. I loved the people I interviewed for, loved the work to be done, and truly knew this was the job for me. I was subsequently disheartened to learn that while they would have loved to have brought two people on, there was only one position and another candidate was selected. They made it clear that it was a difficult decision.

I received the news with grace, despite being something akin to heartbroken. I remained in touch with both the recruiter (let’s call her Sarah) and hiring manager (let’s call her Beth) . A) I really enjoyed them as people and wanted to get to know them and B) there was the possibility that I could still make a contribution as a consultant. So, I connected on LinkedIn, met in person after my permanent return to Seattle – having lunch and just keeping in touch.

Fast forward a couple of months. I’m living in Seattle, looking for a job and having quite a number of interviews, even making it to finalist in a few. After arriving home from one such interview one day, I received a call from Sarah. It seems the person they’d hired instead of me had decided to leave the position. Their first thought was to bring me in, so they were reaching out to see if I was interested. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. THE JOB I’d wanted and dreamed of was falling into my lap! I’m not often speechless, but I most certainly was that day. Five months had passed, but they remembered me, the way I’d handled the ‘rejection’, and the connection I’d continue to make with them. After ironing out some details, I was brought on board, and began the work. It’s been a short time, but I can already tell that my impression was right – the IS the place for me.

I’ve shared this story with a number of people. It’s such a great example of not burning bridges, handling things graciously even when you are disappointed, and having faith, simple faith. I remained confident the right job would be there for me, just as I knew returning to Seattle was the right move. Now, here I am living my dream! Back in my beloved town, working at the job that I wanted the most and having the time of my life!

So the lesson here is simple. Be patient. Be gracious. Never burn a bridge. You can’t recover from a bad impression, and a good impression lasts indefinitely.


About Andrea Cole

Four years ago, I followed my dreams and my heart by quitting my job, selling my home, and moving myself back to Seattle from Washington, DC. I didn't know how things would turn out, but I knew whatever life held in store for me, it was going to be in Seattle. And what a ride it has been! I now help others live their lives through rewarding career and meaningful retirement coaching. My website is
This entry was posted in burning bridges, coaching, dreams, faith, goals, job hunt, networking, patience. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Never, ever, burn bridges

  1. Sue Korman says:

    Congratulations, Andrea! I’m very happy that you’re living your dream.

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