Having recently returned from a weekend visit to wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen I was asked by a colleague what the city was like and whether it was worth a visit. The answer was most definitely yes! It’s a super cool city and a great place for a short break. On the Saturday we did one of the free walking tours – always a great way to get your bearings and I like exploring new places on foot. The guide told us all about the history of the city and how it was well known for the number of fires there had been over the years, basically meaning the city had been rebuilt entirely on several occasions!
Another thing that struck me when walking around was the number of bridges. Copenhagen is famous for its dockside harbour and coastal setting and so part of the fun is getting on one of the harbour buses and seeing things from the water. So that leads me onto my subject – burning bridges, hopefully not too much of a tenuous link?!
Prior to my role at BCL I worked as a solicitor in private practice for over 7 years. Originally training in London and then back in Birmingham, it was extremely apparent that whilst there are lots of law firms out there, the legal market is a small place. People talk and gossip, the same as in every other walk of life and so it is extremely important to build and maintain good relationships, with both clients and colleagues.
I was always told by my parents “never burn your bridges” and its advice that has stuck with me throughout my career. Of course, people want to move on and change jobs for many reasons; career progression, relocation, different work, a new challenge. There is nothing wrong with that. In fact it’s a good job people do, else we would be out of a job! But the key thing is to remember where you came from, keep in touch with old contacts and colleagues, you never know when you might come across them again in the future.
Working back in Birmingham as a consultant at BCL, I have seen the importance of retaining good relationships with former colleagues. A few weeks ago I was talking to a partner at a leading international firm who I used to work for and who I am now recruiting for! Small world you may think, but it just goes to show that my parents were right all along…as if there was any doubt!
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