Throughout my time in the professional world, I have found that working in a place for an extended period of time creates a unique bond, your co-workers become like family. The relationships with those you interact with on a regular basis develop a rhythm that enables you to be so in tune with a person, you can even tell by the way they said good morning if they are off beat. Whether positive or negative everyone learns everyone else's song.
Realistically the time with your coworkers will be more than the time you are around your own family. As a result, the void of familial relationships is filled with ones created based on daily interactions and experiences. Your triumphs and failures are often experienced around strangers to begin. But once you experience something together you almost instantly go from person you worked with to friend. Family relationships begin to make their way into work conversations and work relationships begin to make their way into your family discussions. Your co workers become your siblings or cousins (if they are in different departments).
Supervisors are the conductors of the family and how the family moves is based on cues of the conductor. A great conductor can take you far and have you enjoy the journey. Then again, they can also create confusion and miscues that create confusion that make it very difficult to perform. The admiration or disdain you develop is based on many factors like:
1. How are you and your peers addressed?
2. Is your opinion valued?
3. Does the opinion of specific people have more value than others?
4. Is there a consistency conducting day to day oversight?
5. Are the conductors approachable?
6. Are they understanding in difficult situations?
7. Do the employees value the conductor?
8. Is there mutual respect present?
These are just some of the reasons that the rhythm of a workplace becomes offbeat or stronger. When it seems that you are too deep to hit the reset button, the need to make a decision develops. Do I stay or do I go?
The decision to exit a job for a new hire and for a seasoned employee is a very different one. A new hire hasn’t yet developed the deep connections that make the days go by smoothly. It is simply “work,” but a seasoned person is leaving their family. The connections can be hard to move away from or even to maintain. Yes, you can keep in touch, but eventually those who became your family revert to being a friend from your old job, then a person that you used to work with. Like any relationship, people simply grow apart.
When you are drafting your resignation letter you venture in and out of nostalgia. It is like thinking of an ex and wondering why you ever broke up. Then, oh yeah, snap out of it, remember why you’re here. You are leaving because the work rhythm that led to connections, shared experiences, and admiration has become too offbeat to recover. Was it the conductor, your work family or just time for a new song?