4 Ways to Say ‘No’ Without Burning a Bridge
Not every offer you’ll get over the course of your entertainment career will seem appealing. In fact, some may be outright deceitful, presented by scam artists and something you’ll definitely want to avoid. While it can be difficult to spot scams or hard to say ‘no’ to an opportunity that you feel wouldn’t advance your career, here are a few ways to decline these offers gracefully.
Here is the first way to say ‘no’ without burning a bridge.
One of the best skills you can develop as an entertainer is the ability to listen and trust your own intuition. Some people find this comes easier than others, but overall, it is a learned skill that can be mastered with time and practice. Trust yourself first and foremost. If your gut is telling you an offer isn’t worth pursuing, it’s best to just say ‘no’ and to walk away. First, thank the person extending the opportunity, then let them know now isn’t the best time or simply that it doesn’t seem right for you. Remember, you are in control of your path and are allowed to pass up offers without explaining yourself in great detail.
Here is the second way to say ‘no’ without burning a bridge.
It can be difficult to say ‘no’, but keep in mind it is still possible to maintain a working relationship despite turning down a gig by keeping the individual’s contact information handy. This ensures you’ll be able to be in touch for future use in case something else comes up that may be right for you. This seems like common sense, but all too often entertainers get so caught up in trying to build their resumes and fill their schedules with gigs that they regrettably accept every opportunity that presents itself without giving it a second thought. If you’re too busy or consumed with other projects, let the person know this and that you’d love to work together on future opportunities. After all, it’s better than making a commitment you can’t keep.
Here is the third way to say ‘no’ without burning a bridge.
Another thing to keep in mind when you’re planning to say ‘no’, is that of course no one likes to be lied to. It’s important that you don’t create a made-up scenario for why you’re unable to pursue a project. It’s best to keep your responses short and sweet, and stick to the facts. The last thing you want to do is tell a fictional excuse and then be responsible to recall these details should you cross paths with whomever is asking to work with you in the future. It’s much easier and more professional to say “no” without lying to anyone. After-all, getting caught in a lie is not worth the embarrassment.
Here is the fourth way to say ‘no’ without burning a bridge.
When you say ‘no’, remember to stay confident in your response. If you seem wishy-washy or come across as not one-hundred percent sure of your decision, you could end up stringing the individual along. At which point, you’d end up having to give a firm ‘no’ later on in the process, and this is when you typically end up burning a bridge. Be certain of your choices, firm upfront, and once you’ve voiced your decision, stick with it.
The entertainment industry relies largely on networking, so it is very important that you don’t burn any bridges along the way. Learning to say ‘no’ without coming off as unappreciative or rude will ensure that you stay connected to those who could help you advance your career and to make a name for yourself in the future.
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