I burn bridges. I cut of ties with people. In very rare occasions do I pull strings for things or call in favors. I understand the social contract in doing favors and I understand that the social structure is somewhat dependent on it but I don’t use it often.
Years ago I burned bridges with a group of very influential people because I thought I was going to be moving to the New York/Boston. Long story short, I didn’t move and then crashed an invite only event here in Los Angeles. I worked back to graces of other people who gave me shot. I worked my ass off to get new jobs and new connections.
After I left my job at Capital Records I also burned bridges. I wanted to have a “normal life” so I did things a normal person would do. I dumbed down my résumé and even at times was told I was over qualified but took it in stride. After a year I knew it was stupid of me to be “normal” and set out to find a better job. I quit and was a few months before I found a new job.
Here I am again, doing the same thing. But this time is different. People have offered to help me. Friends trying to set up meeting with X company or Y person that has ties with a VC or Z person that does PR for a Start up and while I’m grateful that they are enough to lend a helping hand I will politely decline.
I did not get or learn my skills by taking hand outs. While I was am thankful for those that gave me a shot, it was my drive and determination that led me to jobs and skills. It’s something I pride myself upon. I have never gotten a job because of a favor that was owed or because I knew someone in the inside.
Does it sometimes make it harder to get a job? Maybe. But I know for a fact that I earned it. It wasn’t a friend playing inter office politics that got me the position. I was me. I did it.
While I’ve burned the bridge and now am in a thick jungle I will go forward, my machete will carve out a trail.