Well, it’s the end of the year and many are transitioning out of their old jobs for various reasons…resigning, retiring, tired of their boss, becoming a full-time entrepreneur or simply looking for an empowering experience.  However, the question I’ve always asked myself before deciding to make a major transition is “What have I left behind?”.

In the past, I’ve learned that it is absolutely essential to your future to have a clear understanding of your accomplishments.  Not only is it good for your resume, but it also gives you a sense of empowerment because hopefully you’ve accomplished what you set out to when you took on the role.  If you never planned to accomplish anything, then that’s another blog and we’ll have to cover that topic later :).  But if you didn’t or couldn’t accomplish what you planned for whatever reason, then of course that could also be the main reason you’re leaving.

However, even in this case before you do so, you should still ask yourself whether it’s truly time for you to leave.  Also, whether you’ve left anything behind that is both memorable and tangible that will help the company or even those that you may have mentored, move forward successfully.   You definitely don’t want to leave behind an experience that no one wants to remember.

As leaders, we have to be deliberate about resolving as many conflicts as possible prior to our departure.  I understand that some may not be resolved for various reasons beyond our control, but it’s definitely worth the try.  Your goal is simply to complete your part as well as remove any burdens from your own back, so that you can move forward both seamlessly and peacefully.  Especially, with your boss.  You may need his recommendation some day or he might be solicited for feedback in the future.  So make sure that you set the tone for your story.

The worst thing that you can do is start a new job and bring your old baggage with you.  It’s not good for you or those in your new environment.  Leave the past in the past and start fresh.  Be careful not to divulge anything negative about your previous company.  It can come back to bite you in the end.  Normally, the person that you’re sharing the negative information with will see you as the guilty party rather than the company.  In fact, you might be viewed as someone that cannot handle certain ambiguous situations or are not agile, when that is not the case at all.

What you really want to focus on is leaving a positive experience whether you’re coming or going.  Since they will follow you to the next big gig and for the rest of your life, your reputation and character are what matter most in the end.

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