Lessons learned the day I left my day job.
A while back, I wrote a blog post called It’s Officially Autumn, and I have a few Confessions where I gave updates on my personal and professional life. If you missed that post, definitely take the time to check it out. To catch you up, I made a life-changing decision to leave my corporate job to pursue my passions of writing and art.
With this transition, I left a great group of friends and coworkers. And just a few days ago, I went for a dental visit and met an extraordinary individual. I realized something significant I hadn’t fully grasped until a few weeks ago and was reminded of just the other day. Let me tell you the lesson I learned when I left my day job and met one special fan of my blog.
Post originally published October 18, 2017. Updated June 2022.
My last days
When I left my 9 to 5 job, it honestly felt surreal. From the moment I put in my notice up until the last day. It was like going through the motions, tying up loose ends, and making sure transition items went smoothly. And then, on the last day, IT comes by to wipe the computer clean for the next person coming.
Wow. It really sinks in. I had a memorable seven years and learned a lot along the way. I had a lot of ups and some downs and everything in between. Professionalism aside, the one thing I am so grateful for and humbled by the most are the friendships formed and the bonds made.
It’s not just professional. It’s personal.
This was made so apparent the last couple of days being on the job. I worked in a corporate office in New York City with an office of about 40 people on the floor. Although I left of my own accord, the lesson I learned was how my presence had really impacted the people there. More specifically, I learned that from a personal level, being my authentic self brought so much value and uplifted morale in the office more than I realized.
If you know me personally, you know I’m a kind person, sweet as double-layer chocolate cake. I’m a good girl, a kind person, considerate of others, have integrity, and a creative Aquarius. I’m a good listener, love to encourage others to do their best, and have the ability to make people smile.
This I know about myself. However, I was so humbled during the last days of my employment when my friends and peers came to wish me well with gifts, heartfelt notes, and cards.
While receiving all this love and reading and talking to my peers and friends, it hit home how my words, actions, and behavior really impacted their lives for the better. It was really humbling. To hear statements like:
- “Wow, I really admire your courage to chase your dreams.”
- “You were really welcoming to me when I first started here and made me feel comfortable to ask questions and not feel silly.”
- “You are my therapist!”
- “Kamira, you are not only an exceptional worker; it’s much more than that. It is who you are as a person that will be missed around here.”
These words, combined with smiles and tears, overwhelmed me with humility and gratitude. I learned that although I know who I am as a person, I have now come to understand the magnitude my attitude, actions, and words had on others. This is another lesson learned and for that, I’m so thankful.
I’ll always cherish my time spent there and will continue maintaining relationships. And then, as my final day came to a close and I left for the last time, I celebrated with a happy hour with friends.
After my last day on the job, I had my dentist appointment a few weeks later. Fast forward to the present, and just the other day, I had the pleasure of meeting a very special person.
An unexpected encounter
A few days ago, I returned from a dentist appointment where I had the pleasure of meeting one of my loyal readers. A special fan heard of my blog from my dentist. (Note: Months prior, during a routine checkup, I had shared with my dentist that I had started a blog the year prior and had given them business cards before I left.)
As I entered my dentist’s office the other day, my dentist greeted me with a big smile and said,
“Hello, Mrs. Gayle. I have someone who is eager to meet you!”
Meeting a Special Fan
Walking back into the office, I met a lovely lady I’ll call “Cherie” (I won’t share her real name to protect her privacy). I greeted her with a big hug, and I swear it was like we already knew each other.
Exchanging stories about our beloved cats that passed away felt like talking to a longtime friend. She was very sweet and expressed how my words helped give her comfort after the passing of her cat after having him for over ten years. It was just what she needed during that time.
I asked about how long it had been since her pet passed away. She expressed, “About seven months.”
I responded, “With grief, there is no time limit. I understand.”
We finished our conversation as I had to get in the dental chair to take care of business. However, it really warmed my heart to meet one of the fans of my blog in person. Moreover, it meant so much to know my heartfelt words and posts helped another grieving pet parent.
By the time I got in the dental chair, I had expressed to my dentist how I had just met “Cherie,” and it was so lovely to meet her. I had to say thanks to my dentist for sharing one of my business cards with their peers.
My dentist reaffirmed, “Oh, it was a pleasure. Happy to do it. You know your blog REALLY helped her a lot.”
What I learned from meeting one of my followers is that the experience solidified our connection with our pets. Knowing how much my words helped provide healing and comfort makes it all worth it.
When I left my day job, I also learned I greatly impacted my peers professionally and on a more personal level. Being myself helped lift morale, provide encouragement, confidence, and humor to other people’s lives. Staying true to yourself and being your authentic self speaks volumes. Essentially the lesson I learned is this:
They may forget what you said — but they will never forget how you made them feel.
—Carl W. Buehner
That, to me, means so much. That’s the type of legacy I would like to leave behind. I think that’s what I’m doing, one step and one post at a time.
Share your thoughts
Have you had a similar experience? What did you think about my lesson learned the day I left my day job?
Comment and share your thoughts below! Don’tforget to share this post with a friend.