Transitions of Power and Your Next Job

The election got me thinking about the many job transitions that are happening in the DC area right now and I thought of one of my own. Many years ago, I started a new job at a regional bank. On my first day as an Assistant Vice President for Training and Development, I was greeted with smiles, handshakes, and a handwritten letter on my desk. Susan Middleton, my predecessor, left me notes on my desk, in binders, and literally all over the place.  

There were notes outlining the budget, notes about projects started but not completed, and notes about ideas she had about future programming. Susan left a legacy when she left her job and I understood why she was so respected throughout the organization. What can we all learn from Susan?

  • When you leave a job, leave information. Leave notes, keys, passwords, documents, hints.
  • If you aren’t crazy about your boss, and that’s part of why you are leaving, remember that the organization signed your paycheck, not your boss.Your role is to help the organization prosper.
  • If your organization does exit interviews, and I hope it does, tell the truth, but tell your truth kindly and respectfully. If you choose to write on a job-rating site, again, be truthful of your experience, but say it professionally.
  • Write thank you notes. Let the folks who helped you know that you appreciate them.
  • Remember that when you leave, your reputation stays.
  • In every job there are people who you formed a connection with or who helped you succeed. Use LinkedIn to stay connected with those colleagues as your and their lives change.
  • And if you haven’t done so already, by all means connect with me! And do it now, before you start the business of your new job.

How does your organization encourage smooth transitions?

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