Business relationships are typically accidental. It’s not like we get to hire our friends, right? But every once in awhile, someone you meet at work becomes a friend for life.
I interviewed Caroline Kemp to be my office manager in the spring of 2008. I hired someone else. I liked Caroline immediately, but wasn’t sure the timing was right. She wanted the job and continued to stay in touch with me even after I hired someone else. I liked her confidence. I liked her friendliness, and I loved that she didn’t give up. So I eventually hired her as my office manager.
In the time since, she has become not only a first-rate employee on whom I rely—but one of my very best friends, as well.
October 29th was Caroline’s last day at ON THE RIGHT TRACK. The place isn’t the same without her.
Through Caroline’s contacts, I started writing for a syndicated newspaper. She impressed them so much that they’ve been trying to steal her away from me for awhile. They finally succeeded.
I completely understand why they wanted her to work for them, and I completely understand why she decided to go. I probably would have done the same thing if I’d been in her shoes. There are no hard feelings on either side. And I’m still writing for the newspaper, so I still get to work with Caroline.
Every day I call her and offer her her old job back. Every day she tells me how much she misses me. Of course I will be fine without her and she will be fine without me. But I’ll never forget how much I have enjoyed her company and working with her.
I have been hiring people to work at ON THE RIGHT TRACK for more than 10 years now. I’ve had some great team members, and I’ve had some who needed to be, uh, freed for other opportunities better suited to them.
What impression have you left with your former employers or team members? Would they take you back in a heartbeat?
We’ve all been told never to burn bridges, but how often have we really listened to that advice? Do we ensure that every day we are doing the best we can do, or do we sometimes fall into the entitlement trap? Do you sometimes feel that your employer owes you something other than your paycheque?
Look in the mirror and really evaluate what you bring to your workplace. Are you the type of person who leaves a lasting, positive, imprint on your company?
A new standard has been set at ON THE RIGHT TRACK; Caroline will be a tough act to follow. I wish her luck and I wish you luck in making sure that you are leaving the right impression at your job, too.