How to Advance Your Career Without Burning Bridges

The business world can sometimes feel like a cold place. Ultimately, financial concerns often dictate the way many people and corporations behave. As such, this means that entrepreneurs and other business leaders may occasionally have to make uncomfortable decisions. Firing an employee, leaving a job, or ending a business partnership may be necessary from a business perspective, but these actions can also be fraught with complications. With all that in mind, today we’ll explain how professionals can advance their careers without burning bridges with important people in their community.

Practice Empathy

Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes is a rare skill these days. Empathy doesn’t come naturally to everyone. And even empathetic people can still make bad decisions. Yet, practicing empathy on a regular basis can help you understand how others think and feel. Knowing what matters to your colleagues can help you avoid unnecessary conflicts. Plus, having empathy will allow you to examine situations with greater depth and nuance.


Miscommunication is a huge source of conflict both in the office and out. One of the best ways to prevent misunderstandings and hurt feelings is to effectively communicate with your peers. Express your professional desires, goals, concerns, and needs with those closest to you. If you’re simply honest and forthright, you can avoid many stressful issues. Note, this includes situations like job interviews. Honesty really is the best policy.

Be Respectful of Others

It’s not always easy to break bad news to someone. On the other hand, treating others with the respect they deserve is essential in every setting. Professionals may occasionally feel angry, upset, or frustrated with a colleague. Though these feelings are normal, you shouldn’t let your emotions get the better of you. Don’t say things you’ll later regret, and always be polite and courteous in all your professional interactions. Remember, it’s important to find healthy ways to deal with stress from work. Taking out your anger one someone else is never justified.

Follow Up

Managing any relationship takes time. If you truly care about someone, then you need to make it a point to follow up with them. Getting together for lunch with your old boss or calling up a coworker to check in on them can go a long way toward ensuring you maintain good relationships with them. In addition, it’s worth remembering that everyone makes mistakes. Don’t hesitate to apologize to someone if you hurt them in the past. Similarly, burying the hatchet with those who upset you is often the best thing to do if you get the opportunity.


Whether you’re a medical student who one day dreams of working at a clinic like the Northwest Surgery Center or you have plans to start your own business, these tips will help you develop solid business relationships over a long period of time. Keep them handy moving forward!