We have a tendency to pour a lot of ourselves into our work, especially in the education industry. We spend countless hours of unpaid overtime, answering student emails, working on projects that will benefit the institution, grading, etc, etc. Our spouses get mad at us, our children get mad at us, and we promise ourselves we are going to slow down and take that vacation. We spend so much time at our job that our social lives can be completely wrapped up in it.
So what happens when for some reason or another you lose that job? How do you cope, but more importantly, how do your coworkers behave with your loss?
Job loss is nothing new, but in this day and age of instant information, it is not uncommon to find yourself being interviewed by someone you laid off, or competing with someone you know from an old job. How did you treat that person when they left? How did you treat that person before they left? Crucial questions on how future events might play out.
I personally find that I get the most LinkedIn requests, or requests for recommendation when people separate from their job and they need something, and those people quickly disappear once they get what they needed; until the next time.
While most people are believers in paying it forward, we are all human. We remember the slights, the broken promises, and the fact that the only time we hear from you is when you need something. Was your relationship genuine in the first place?
This is not saying you have to be everyone’s friend, but I am suggesting that the level of authenticity you displayed with past coworkers will determine how they view you in the future (professionally).
Try not to burn bridges, and this goes as much for the former employers as the former employee because, technology is creating a long memory. A business that is known to be unstable and have a revolving door is going to attract only temporary employees, and that business will become a way-stop for those looking for something else. Do not get it twisted, businesses can become desperate for good talent as well.
Treat your employees well while they are with you and when they leave you, because you are likely to see them again, and they can affect your future as a company.
Lessons from an MBA program.
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III