I heard an interview with Sarah Lawrence Lightfoot, who wrote the book “Exit”.  It is a book about the circumstances surrounding our exits; everything from saying goodbye on your way to work, moving, new jobs, divorces, even death.  She has made the following observations:
  1.  We focus more on entries than exits in our life.
  2. Although we can pinpoint when we are done, there is often an iterative process indicating we have been leaving long before we exit.
  3. Organizations (Military, Catholic Church) that have rituals to accompany exits tend to understand and manage them better.
  4. Professions like oncology and pediatrics involve a lot of exits.  The doctors who thrive in these specialties have done so by developing relationships, not by keeping professional distance.
This made me wonder about my own work life.
  1. Do I focus more on securing the job then on how I will progress through and perhaps out of the job?
  2. Am I aware of the myriad ways I broadcast my exit long before I leave?
  3. Do I regularly think about what I am moving toward in my career? Am I managing it or am I along for the ride?
  4. As a boss do I fall into the trap of maintaining a professional distance from people to make the exits (like layoffs) easier to deal with?

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Dan Clark

Dan Clark

Principal of Bowline Consulting, process designer/fixer, wireless telecom veteran, addicted pick up soccer player, fly fisher, backpacker, beer brewer, guitar player, choir singer, recovering bag piper

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