I just finished my last day of work, after just over six years of service. It is the longest tenure I have held in my choppy, colourful career.
I start a new job today. It is the first time I will be working at a job whose function and industry I was very intentional about pursuing. Well hey now, there's my word for the year! Hurrah! I am so excited.
But in these last two weeks, I did whatever I could to end this chapter well.
Transition to equip and empower - In the world of accruals, reconciliations, pivot tables and cross-continental Dropbox folders, everything can be learned from numerous resources. I decided to direct my training towards less tangible skills like how to manage the requests of fast-talking executives, the whys behind the how-tos, and the value of demanding excellence from yourself in every task. These were lessons taught to me by integrity-driven supervisors and peers over the years that needed to be paid forward.
Clean up - Purge physical and soft files that only I understand and will just confuse everyone. There will always be scrambling after one leaves. Less painful for all when you delete the first four iterations of Schedule A from 2011. With all humility, too, I did not shred the unfinished past project that would clearly be misaligned with the reliability I wanted to be known for, because I'll be honest, I thought about it. The file folder remains in my cabinet, and I shared it with my successor. Oh Brene, it was tough but I was brave and did it anyway! Hashtag vulnerabilityisagoodthing
Get personal - I wrote personal thank you cards to each fellow employee. Our workforce has been reduced to skeletal numbers so the task wasn't monumental. But, I couldn't afford to underestimate this opportunity to give love (because in the music industry so many haven't been afforded the chance to leave on their own terms) by waiting until the second-last day and resort to a standard template because things got too busy in the end. I wrote them on the day after I handed in my notice. I wrote my all-staff farewell email the following day, which included illustrated instructions on the Excel formula I most frequently get asked about, maybe more for my own amusement, actually.
Leave a legacy of excellence, service, and care - I didn't want anyone to feel abandoned in my departure. There was no allowance for I'm-already-gone ball-dropping. I sped up processes so they could be tied up by my last day, and asked other departments about current needs and going-forward concerns. This stretched me beyond my wits, I confess, especially when the conditions I assumed would be ideal were far from it. At least three people told me to loosen my grip on what needs to get done, one of whom was Ben, who, with the kids, got the nightly aftermath of this tiring endeavour. It made me think about Tsh Oxenreider's confession of her time writing about her simple life actually being a slice of short-term chaos. I am ripping a band-aid off, I think, with this purposeful and temporary pain. In the end, I had to surrender some of my goals, but while I now feel that they won't melt away if they have to learn some things without me, it was a matter of putting my money where my mouth is when I say I want others to feel loved by tying whatever loose ends I can for/with them.
So here I am, wide-eyed well before my new morning alarm, with a blank 100-page coil notebook downstairs in the foyer, eagerly awaiting the writing of a new story. And the peaceful readiness I feel right now is a happy byproduct of a crazy but thoughtful two weeks of intentional transition.
Let's do this.