As a young professional I was very intentional with building my network. I strongly believe I am not an island and I needed to build a community with people who will support me and celebrate my victories as I would do them. I was very mindful about building a network and I tried very hard not to burn any bridges with everyone I met.
Dont ever burn bridges, that was advice we get as young professionals. I believe this advice is valuable when it is given with good intentions as it will be required to build one’s network. A network you can rely on that can help you elevate your career. Secretly I have craved for a network, in my mind I had a picture of this network that has influential people with high positions. I have tried seeking out this people to include in my circle but came to learn that a network should be built organically. I tried not to burn bridges as well and tried not to shake up any connections I build. I also saw that there is also a dark side to this community building thing. At times one is forced to keep quiet in fear so as to keep the relationship going. Recently I was in a situation where someone of power told me I was burning bridges with them because I stood up for myself. What was happening was unfair and I decided I was going to walk away. It is unfortunate that sometimes this piece of advice is not shared with good intentions. I was so sad to learn that some people will tell you not to burn bridges so as to keep you stagnant and to instill fear.
Looking back, I can proudly say now that I have a network that was grown organically, it doesn’t necessarily include executive or board members but it has people who have my best interest at heart. My integrity will not be compromised because I want to grow my network. I have stopped letting the fear of buying bridges get to in the way of my personal development and authentic growth. I have made it this far because of two things, God’s grace and hard work.