I got a disturbing phone call the day after I quit my job.
The voice on the other side of the phone was sincerely concerned about me. What have I done?
She told me I had made a terrible mistake.
The news reached her that I accepted a job at an agency where she formerly worked. She explained how horrible her experience had been working there. She recommended I cancel my resignation and abandon my plans. Perhaps my old employer would take me back. Was it too late?
I decided to take the job anyway. It turned out to be a great two years and one of the most prolific periods of my professional career.
I have thought back on this question many times. Why was my experience so different from that girl's?
Here's how I see it...
After I received the frantic call I talked with my future boss. I explained what happened and expressed my concerns. He told his side of the story and reassured me that he would do everything he could to make my employment with him a good experience. He didn't sugarcoat past failings, just expressed his commitment to quality and his excitement for the future. We started our relationship with complete transparency. My boss knew that I was willing to ask uncomfortable questions. I knew that he wasn't selling utopia. It was a job, and we agreed to work hard for each other through the ups and downs.
Have you ever worked somewhere where you and your co-workers seem to be living in alternate movies? Perhaps you are in the version of life where your career is on the rise. Lucky you. But maybe you live in the movie where the work is a grind and you can't wait to find the nearest exit. I wonder how much we control which theater we sit in. Could our situation change if we weren't afraid to ask the uncomfortable questions? No sugarcoating, just a confession of imperfection followed by a commitment to the future and a shared excitement for what you can create together. If you could switch movies would you? Consider this your frantic phone call.
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