Moving On

I’m not leaving; I have the best job in the world, and I could easily see this being my last job. However, we’ve had a few people leave Red Gate recently, a few of which I have known for some time. It’s inevitable as a company grows that there will always be some people that find better opportunities or need a change of jobs. Perhaps it’s a sign of the times, but I doubt that many of us in technology will keep the same job for decades.

Leaving a job isn’t a bad thing, and it certainly doesn’t have to be antagonistic. I’ve left quite a few jobs on good terms, with both myself and my employer wishing each other well in new endeavors. I have found most people will behave as adults and professionals, even when one side is not happy with the way in which the employment relationship ended. Being open and honest certainly helps, as people usually respect a position if they understand it, even if they don’t like the circumstances.

One of the things that typically happens at Red Gate is that the person leaving sends a note around to the department(s) affected, and sometimes the company. Recently we had an interesting one come out that was broken into different sections. Each section looked back at this person’s time at Red Gate, and the note got me thinking. How would I look back at my time in various companies?

The sections talked about good times, things learned, mistakes made, memorable events and more. It’s the type of perspective I like, and what I’d like to write if I ever leave. Then I thought maybe it’s the type of thing I should write every year, looking back at the good and bad times I’ve had at the company.

Taking stock of your situation, the good, bad, challenging, growing, and other events, is a healthy way to examine your employment. I might encourage each of you to write a “leaving letter” as we close out the year. Write down the things you’ve had fun doing, the achievements you’re proud of, the mistakes you’ve made and more. Don’t limit it to 2014, but look at your entire time with this employer. Use the letter to evaluate your position and career. Maybe you’ll think about how you’d like next year to proceed, or even if you want to change companies. Either way, stepping back and reviewing your career is something that is valuable to ensuring you continue to move in a direction you want.

Steve Jones

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