I just left my job after having been there for ten years. It was a good run and now it is time for some new workplace adventures on the left coast. While I did not get the twitter angst that Jon Stewart just got, I did receive a few accolades in my goodbye parade. Many, in saying goodbye to me, noted that the place will not be the same without me, I helped build that place up and that my passion and commitment were unparalleled. All of that is true. However, life goes on and so will they. Whenever someone transitioned out of the workplace, if they were high enough, we often noted that when the new so-on starts we can do x, y, and z. Meaning, when the new mimi comes on board, we will take on these other projects. That’s right. There will be a new Mimi. Let’s get one thing out of the way, I am irreplaceable but it doesn’t mean the new “me” won’t leave her own mark. And, I state “her” because my former agency is down to very few women (maybe 5). I sure hope another female comes in. We shall see. It may be best that the new mimi is a he so that he is not completely living in my shadow.
Whatever direction they decide to go in regarding my replacement, I thought I’d share a few words of advice.
Don’t be intimated by my legacy. So what some people called me the Cat’s Meow or the greatest thing since sliced bread, it doesn’t mean you cannot forge your own legacy and become the cat’s meow as well. All it takes is commitment, perseverance and a hearty stomach to handle all the craziness in the field.
Have and maintain a sense of humor. Having and sharing a laugh goes a long way to getting people to like you and follow you. Your sense of humor need not be as dark as mine. As a matter of fact, you may want to lighten it up a bit as only so many people can pull off a dark sense of humor in the workplace.
Don’t be afraid of making changes. When I went in, all I did was make changes. Of course, the changes were for the better and thus I am leaving behind a pretty solid operation. However, change is good. People may say “well, Mimi didn’t do it this way”. You can answer “that’s great. She was indeed a genius but let’s give this new way a try since a fresh pair of eyes is always good.” You may encounter resistance, but find ways to sugar coat the change.
Build on, do not destroy, legacy. While change is good don’t engage in change to just make things your own. Change should occur organically in order to build upon legacy. People will respect you for that.
Keep a liquor, cocktail dresses and shoe stash in your office. This way people will think I was totally normal for having such a vast collection.
Overall, enjoy this new beginning. I am going on to my own adventure and wish you well.