Education Career Services

January 25, 2010

Coming AND Going: Bridges go Both Ways

As everyone knows, the initial impression (interview and first days of employment) are paramount to career success by setting into motion employer expectations and paving future consideration.  As a result, common sense dictates that your behavior should be nothing less than professional in nature and always timely in consequence.  How many readers would enter a relationship, personal or professional, without being on their top behavior?  For those with a sore cheek due to an inappropriate first contact, you know what I’m talking about. 

The employment arena holds forth certain truths and expectations as we know.  Unfortunately, not as many individuals adhere to the concept of departing relationships with the same degree of respect.  Bringing truth to the surface, leaving a position carries baggage of its own; and this goes for personal as well as professional situations.  When was the last time you took the role of the invisible superhero—how did that turn out?  Hmm, I guess that’s why Elton John calls it the blues.

Let me give you a recent example of professional courtesy and you tell me if the employee burned any bridges upon employment separation.  Let’s call this young lady (who was employed for just over 90 days) Sam.  As many readers will attest, (self included) health issues can disallow a consistent work schedule; thus, holding ill-feelings against an employee for things that are out of their control is not always the right thing to do, though is often what does happen… when was the last time you spent a few minutes at the gossip water fountain?  I thought so.  For Sam, her health forced her to make a choice.

For the first 60 days Sam was the ideal employee.  Great attitude, super work ethic, and was making a positive effect on the bottom line.  Unfortunately health issues caught up and she was unable to perform her duties.  She made the choice to severe our business relationship and did the right thing by personally notifying me of her inability to continue and a time/day was scheduled for her to pick up belongings.  This act of professional courtesy meant a great deal, not only for the moment, but also for future consideration.  The option of not calling and simply not showing up could have been chosen.  The option of not showing up occurs more often than not as it is, for many employees, the easy and cowardly way to end employment.

Bit of advice: when a decision has been made by an employee to no longer work for a company, ALWAYS inform your supervisor.  In the case of Sam, her bridge to this company remains open and when she is capable of returning, she has a home and a group of people who genuinely care about her.  I believe that’s what makes a company and its employees successful. 

On this same note, how many readers decided to leave a company and “accidently” forgot to inform your supervisor, choosing option number 2 and quietly vanish into thin air, leaving your employer in the dark?  No doubt we’ve all done it, but that does not make it right. 

Building bridges between networks and employment histories is part of maturing as a professional and person.  Keeping those bridges, even if the path did not work out, is just as important. 

When you get a few minutes, let me know some of the situations you encountered used to justify your disappearance act?

Tomorrow is built upon Today’s action(s) and Yesterday is the glue binding all… think about it.

Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPCC, CPRW
Owner, Author, Publisher
Career Services International
Education Career Services
dhuffman@careersi.com
www.linkedin.com/in/dannyhuffman
407-206-5883 (direct line)
866-794-3337 ext 110

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