Moving on…

Today is the last day of my employer for the past six years. As is customary, I wrote an email to send to the individuals I enjoyed working with (remember to always BCC recipients!).

There are a lot of lower-level people at the company who have become embittered and I wanted to offer them some advice on how I was able to gain four promotions in six years and ultimately leave the nest. I also wanted to speak to the managers of those low-level employees. Ultimately, though, I decided not to include that career advice in the email because I didn’t want my last interaction with many of them to preach about how they can improve themselves.

I still like what I wrote, though, so I thought I’d get it out of my system by sharing it here:

Hi there,

If you’re reading this, you are one of the people I’ve worked with in my six years at [company] that I’ve highly valued as a coworker and as a work friend.

Today is my last day at [company]. I accepted an exciting offer to handle engineering documentation at a startup ISP based in Boston.
I’m looking forward to the transition after learning a lot in my journey at [company], starting out in the old Surveillance NOC and moving on to the Voice NOC/Advanced Services, Wholesale Service Assurance, and then Network Business Intelligence. It’s been a great ride, and working with you has been one of the best parts of that journey, so thank you for your assistance and for being a great coworker.

One final thought – some of the people reading this email have worked their way up through the corporate ladder and have carved out a niche where they get at least some level of satisfaction in their work and how they are compensated for their work. Others reading this may view their work at a “soulless fortune 500 megacorp” as a dead-end job with no hope for the future. I’ve had both of those mindsets at various points over the past six years—my experience is that we all have our own list of challenges and advantages; sometimes, I’ve known the right person and that helped me get a promotion, but that connection only works because I’ve volunteered for new projects within my current role, met interesting people who work in other aspects of the company, and have always been working to expand both my technical skills and my soft skills.

My advice for those people who feel stuck is reinvent yourself as a person who is hungry to learn new technologies and new systems and is excited to collaborate with others. Even when you’re feeling like you’ve been given the short end of the corporate stick, don’t let your will to improve your job performance and career track get beaten down by that stick. I’ve been lucky, but I’ve also overcome a lot of short sticks. If any of you are feeling stuck, I’d be happy to email you back and forth and see if there’s any way I can help. We’re all dealt different hands, but you as a person are defined by how you play the hand you’re dealt.

For those of you who have prospered at [company] by being dealt a great hand or have persevered through a bad hand by hard work and determination, keep in mind there are a lot of talented people here who can help you achieve your objectives, some of whom are people you may have written off. If one of your employees engages with you with a desire to change their relationship with your team or the company in general, don’t write off that desire—nurture it. I too was once a bitter dead-end employee who had been written off, and I pulled myself out of that path. It can be done.

We all have the same number of hours per week. Make the most of out of them for your own growth and to take care of the people you love.
Thanks for reading. Good luck in your own journey! Feel free to reach out!

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