What do you take home on your last day at work?

12 Jan

I picked up the several birthday cards I had received that year and put them in the box. What people I was packing could not see, was the sadness I was so desperately trying to hide behind my non-chalant behaviour.

It was a choice I had made, yet it made me sad. My last day at my first job was even more beautiful than my first day. My team was gathered in a conference room with my Mentor and Manager at the other end of the VC dialed in from US, wishing me luck and suming up my days and contribution untill this day we part. My friends and collegues made it as normal for me as they could without making me feel like it was my last. Much like the disease you don’t want to talk about fearful that it makes the patient feel bad. My friends from all departments gathered in the cafeteria and got me my favourite cake and a lovely parting gift and real special individual goodbyes. We all worked till 8.30 PM even though our work gets done by 6.30 PM. They all waited till I was ready to for the last time hit ctrl-alt-delete. That was it, I would never log into that machine again, I gather all my birthday cards and put them in the box and turned to see my friends and collegues gathered around me. People who I shared my happiness and sorrows with, people with whom I shared my darkest secrets. People for whom I stood by through controversies, people with whom I celebrated their special days. People whose new start to a new life we shared, people with whom we threw to the wind our worries and cares. And now I had to say goodbye to it all.

Yes years down the line like today, as I write this article, I realise that people move on, things change and life teaches you to live with it and take it all in your stride. I sat in my new workplace wondering how my last day here would look like when that day did indeed arrive – how I would like to be remembered, what would I take with me. I have had the experience of leaving an organisation, my second home once, so I speak with experience and sometimes in hope when i do list the following:

Be remembered for your goodness: In a corporate environment we are constantly asked to be selfish, inward and cut throat. I say what good is that? I know that this will give you success, may help you grow faster as you have eliminated most of your competition, but I ask you what have you gained? I ask again – honestly what have you gained? No real friends, when you down and lonely or you just need to vent out, you have no one to go to. When you need the help and goodwill of your colleague, you will just see a back turned around. Your schemes of past will catch my friend so invest time in doing good for those you work with, that’s what builds real relations – not the scheming or your witty games, that merely leaves you alone. You will be remembered for the good you do unto others. So take heart, invest in people.

Make friends: We spend half our day at work, interacting with people, sharing, caring or merely listening and speaking. We spend a part of the other half sleeping and with our loved ones. So as you see the people we work with are the people who edify you, shape you, define you to a certain extent. So choose the people wisely you wish to spend those hours with. Most of us don’t have a choice, we cannot choose our teams always. But we can choose the friends we wish to hang out with, people who can help us grow as individuals, one who motivates us to do greater and better things, one who sticks around, stands up for you and sees you through your trials at work. I am quite lucky to have built relations and made friends at work. Few of whom I am very close to even though I have left the organisation and some who have left me in my current workplace. That’s what I am talking about – I can still call them to rant on for advice or simply to listen to me. And they will do it happily. I have made friends for life and that’s one thing we all can have and cherish no matter where we go in life – a true and everlasting friendship.

Crib less: It’s human to crib. We always feel like something is missing. A better career, more growth, a greater experience, new technology and maybe one of the reasons why people look out a change or feel frustrated within. We have a choice- try this today- Crib Less. Be happy and content with where you are and if you really unhappy do something about it and not just crib. It’s really unfair cause one you bring yourself down and work less than your capacity and secondly you bring those around you to a gloomy depression and believe me no one wants to be around somebody who constantly cribs. So change that, you do not want to be remembered for your constant complaints now do you?

Write your story while you here: As a writer I can’t help but say this and truly believe that we all write stories wherever we go. We touch lives, we impact and we always make a difference however big or small. We all start writing a story the day we join an organisation- the people we meet are the characters of our story, some are heroes while some are mere villains while some are the supporting artist and the workplace is your storyboard, the situation the place in which the scene is set. It’s up to you how you choose to write your story, with a sad or a happy ending.

It has been 2.9 years since I left my previous organisation, but I still have people I have worked with remember me as i remember them, they may have moved on in life too, gone to different organisations, but we are still a part of each others lives. No one has forced it, it’s a choice,it’s the good memories that makes it really hard to leave a place or the person behind, so you choose to take them along wherever you go. Technology has made the world a small place and I am thankful for that. Always remember what you achieve when you working, like promotion, fast growth, more compensation at the expense of backstabbing, or stepping on someone’s toes will only leave you with a whole lot of money and a feeling of emptiness. It has been 2.3 years and counting since I am working for a new employer and when the time comes to say goodbye I wanna gather enough memories to write a memoir and not a heart that has gone cold.

So for all those out there it’s never to late to write your own story, to build your own memories, to be alive in the mind of those you share an office or at least 10 hours of your day with. So decide today, think – What will you take home with you as you click for that one last time ctrl – alt – del….


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