Fortune Cookie Advice – Don’t Ever Slam a Door; You Might Want to Go Back

Yes, that was my fortune earlier this week. In your personal life, I can think of a few doors that should be slammed shut. In your professional life though, maybe not so much.

That’s not to say there aren’t companies, bosses, or even coworkers that you definitely do not want to go back to. I’m sure we all have one or two of those in our history. (I will refrain from mentioning any of mine, but it is a very short list.) No, but you still don’t want to slam the door. Or burn bridges, or choose any other metaphor here. Because, while you might not ever consider going back to that company, the other people who work there, and who you just slammed the door on, are probably not always going to be just at that company. They will fan out, spreading out to other companies, and into other positions of influence, making all sorts of new connections.

To them, you’ll always be the door slammer. Is that how you want to be remembered? Is that the thing you want them to remember when you apply for a job 10 years down the road with someone who knows someone else who worked there when you slammed that door? That’s probably not going to go well for you.

Think about it in the eDiscovery industry, for example. I’ve worked for a few different organizations now, on the law firm and vendor sides. I’ve also trained a ton of people when I was on the vendor side. One thing I have seen for sure, is that this industry is a small world. When I started working as a trainer, I met people who had been involved on cases we handled at my old firm. Now that I’m back at a firm, I’ve talked to clients, vendors, and other law firm folks who I trained in the past, and most of these people are not in the same place as they were when we first came in contact. People move, a lot, and they all seem to have a lot of LinkedIn connections.

That’s why slamming the door, or the new trend in professional circles, ghosting a job, can be so damaging. It might feel good in the moment, but you never know where you’re going to run into those same people again. Do you want to be the person who handled themselves professionally and moved on to something bigger and better when the company, or a boss, couldn’t live up to their end of the employment bargain, or the person who just didn’t show up any more?

Don’t do it. Even if it feels good, don’t do it. If you think speaking your mind honestly is going to somehow create positive change, still don’t do it. Don’t let the last impression you make on an entire company be negative.There will be too many people viewing you poorly after you do it. No one needs that in their career.


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