If they plan it, will the people come

“I was amazed at all the people that showed up, senior executives, managers and my peers”.  “I even received emails from the C-Level, thanking me for the work I did for them.”

That was from a young lady who is about 3 years out of college who had resigned her job after a 2 year stint.  She had found another opportunity that was specifically geared to her career path.  Her first job out of college was a one year stint and she still keeps in touch with all her managers from that job.  Matter of fact they provided excellent references for her for the new role.

Are you making a difference?

During the journey of our career, we have all worked on jobs that when we decided to move on, no one cared.  We have also probably worked on jobs that when we did resign someone cared.  Career trajectory is always based on making a difference in a role. 

From each perch, it is easier to move to the next perch.  That is the reason that your career is always done in steps.  There is no lottery mentality to your career, as in moving from entry level-mid level to C-Suite.  The only way to do that is you become an entrepreneur, and then you are all wrapped up into one.

However we sometimes forget that we must leave a paper trail of all our good work.  Sometimes because of circumstances this may not happen but as we look back on jobs over the years we would want more positives than negative.

Who will show up?

As I was told this story, I thought of asking who would show up if you got another job and they planned a going away party.  Would it be well attended?

I worked for a person at one time in my career who resigned because her husband got a job in a different city.  The family was moving from Connecticut to Atlanta.  We planned a going away celebration in the main conference room.  Problem was that outside of her staff, no one showed up.  We planned the party and no one came.

We were all embarrassed for her.  But her behavior brought it all on.  She was unapproachable; she did not tolerate small talk and was extremely dismissive of people.  Well, the chickens came home to roost that afternoon as all the staff milled around.  We too wanted out and were so glad when the allotted time came that we could leave.

Lesson learned

Every job whether we like it or not should paint a masterpiece of your career.  This mosaic is built on positive experiences and of the other kind.  If you reflect and all you see and remember are negatives, there is a problem

Sometimes we are the problem

I had a discussion with a dear friend who is always complaining about her boss.  As my eyes glazed over from listening to a variation of this exchange over the years, something occurred to me.  Every job she had there was a negative relationship with her boss.  The same story that was telling me then is the same story but different company.

So when she came up for air, I started.  “You know we have been friends for years and I have followed your career through every new opportunity.  However the constant thread in all your jobs is that you have had a dysfunctional relationship with the person you report to.”  As I walked her through the companies and some of the comments, there was a stoned silence on the other end.

I said based on that track record I would take a look at my actions because just maybe you had a lot to do with this.  Every manager could not be all wrong and you were always right.  When she finally spoke her response was that I did not understand.  That is when I knew that she did not see herself in this equation as being the problem.

As we progress in our career, it is always helpful to take a peek back into our jobs and give an honest appraisal of our scorecard.  If you paper trail shows positive, you are on the right track.  If however on the other hand all you can recount are negative experiences then that may be the time to soul search.

You just might be the problem.

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