If you are a reader of this site, you are probably familiar that I resigned last week and took a position in a new firm. In addition to the stress that came along with the decision to leave, came the stress associated with figuring out an exit strategy. And by “exit strategy” I mean “work myself into the ground to get as many things completed as possible before I leave….”
… and I am exhausted.
I have slowly been telling people that I’m leaving – don’t be too surprised when I tell you not everyone I know reads these posts. Most have taken it pretty well and, without too much deviation, most of those conversations have gone like this:
Bob: So, uhm, I need to let you know something
Generic (but awesome) Person: That would be a change – Oooooo ZING! Seriously … what is it, sounds ominous.
Bob: It is, but it isn’t. I resigned from my job last week. My last day here will be June 14th but I’ve offered to make myself available to continue answer questions beyond that point should the need arise. I’ll also be wrapping most of my work up for you during the next few weeks and making sure everybody knows where any bodies might be buried.
Generic (but awesome) Person: Wow – that’s really great for you … kinda sucks for me. I’ll send you over a few [hundred thousand] things that you can hopefully deal with before you leave. Besides, if anything does come up after you leave, we’ll just blame you.
I suppose I’m not surprised that people are burying me with things they want to make sure get my attention before I leave – it’s probably what I would do if our roles were reversed. Even though I officially gave notice a week ago, I knew this was coming for a while and I have been filling holes and trying to put everything that requires my attention on the front burner for a much longer period of time. Until my new employment deal was finalized, it wasn’t a sure thing. I’ve had enough jobs in my career and been around enough blocks to have seen what happens when someone mentally “moves on.” We all can guess what happens – they become worthless at best, and a virus to other members of the staff at worst.
The architectural community isn’t so large that I can afford to be cavalier with how I go about doing my job. It’s also not the way I handle things – my reputation is really the most important thing I will leave with as I move into the next phase of my career and I will protect it with every tool and ability I have at my disposal. If you haven’t figured out the value of your reputation, or come to realize that how people see you will be how people treat you, I think I know how you should spend your weekend.
There are 23 days left before I am officially no longer an employee at my current firm. 23 days …. that’s not a lot of time when you realize that how people regard you after you leave will be established during this time frame. If you don’t go about your business professionally, what you’ll hear a lot is:
“If it’s wrong, Bob probably did it.”
[except, you know, with your name instead of mine]
P.S. That week after June 14th is the National AIA Convention in Denver – which I will be attending. If you are going to be there, make sure to let me know, maybe we can get something put together.