During my career I have “walked out” several people when terminated whether for cause or a lay-off. For one employer the CEO wanted me to be the bouncer and assist those that were terminated for cause in cleaning out their offices and then walking them out. It was an interesting situation for a recruiter – one minute I would be talking to a candidate on why they should join the company the next I could be in someone’s office helping them prepare to depart.
I would sometimes spend about one to two hours assisting an employee in cleaning out their office. These were usually decorated like a dorm room from college or an extension of their home. After the fifth or sixth time I realized I did not want to be like them. I wasn’t planning on being terminated for cause during my career (and never have been) but if I was terminated due to a reorganization or other lay-off reason I would pick up my stress ball and leave – no boxes, no need to come back on a weekend to clean out the office and no need to waste the time of a co-worker who would have to wait for me when they have plenty of work to do. For this reason my offices have always been bland, no pictures, no personal items and over the years people have asked why.
While sharing my story on why I would also state that if anything should happen “The Gap is always hiring.” Usually the listener would give me a perplexed look. The simple point is that no matter how hard we work sometimes things will happen beyond our control and we find ourselves without a job. There are many other employers and if necessary we have to be flexible in order to support ourselves or families. I believe that this mindset helped me perform at a high level because I did not work in fear. I would come in and do the job to the best of my ability.
Don’t get me wrong. Would it suck to lose a job? Sure. Would I want to be in a job search? Not really. Would my career take a hit and I might not find a similar role? I do not know the answer. Would I be able to find another employer with a great culture, interesting work and people? Yes, because there are thousands of employers that have these traits.
Recently this scenario came true when I lost my job due to a reorganization. I had a sense it was coming because of all the changes currently going on with my former employer. When I received the phone call to attend a meeting the next day I was fully prepared for what was about to happen. When it was over and I was escorted to my office I picked up two personal items – an award I received from a hiring client for my hard work and a mug my team had given me – and walked out.
I know most people would be upset or angry in this situation but I was not and will not be. I look back on my six years and have no regrets, complaints or ill feelings. I was given a great opportunity, experienced several promotions and felt that I made a positive impact. I was treated fairly, well compensated, and worked with some very talented people who taught me a tremendous amount from recruiting skills to leading teams. I gave my all and look back with pride on my work. It is over and I had a blast.
The job search has been going well so far thanks to my network and all the leads, advice and assistance that has been offered. I do not think I will be applying to the Gap but I do know that whomever is my next employer I will continue to give it my all and do my best to move the company forward.
I welcome your thoughts.