Many of the great people I work closely with hear me say this a lot: “you just never know when you might run into someone again.” I have several stories that support this idea. Here’s a little story for you today about my friend Samer…
A few years ago, I was directing the sales, consulting, and account management functions of a web marketing consultancy in Detroit. One of my most dedicated account managers, Samer, came into my office one day and said: “I hate to do this to you, but I have to give you my notice.” I asked Samer to sit down, and he proceeded to tell me how he had been saving up all of his money to go on a trip around the world (literally!). After he told me about his plans, all I could say was “please stay in touch.” What a great idea, what great discipline it took for him to do this, and most of all…what an adventure!
Over the next year, I received emails from Samer every so often – his journeys in Europe, adventures in Thailand, etc. – all of his stories were amazing! When he did finally come back to the States, he came back to Detroit. Quickly, he realized he could not be in Detroit, and needed to move to New York City, where he could hopefully get a start in international business.
I talked to Samer just before he left. He told me “Reg, I have to get out of here, I’m moving to NYC.” I said, “Great Samer! where are you going to work?” Samer replied “I don’t have a job, and I’m going to crash on my cousin’s couch until I can find something.” That’s when I jumped in, “wait a minute Samer, let me call some of my contacts in NYC and see if I can find something for you.”
That day, I dialed up a few of my close contacts in NYC, and about a week later, Samer had an interview with Optimost, a company that helps other companies test new ideas on their websites. Samer was quickly hired at Optimost and began his new career shortly thereafter. Then, a few months into his new career, Samer got some great news: Optimost was opening a London office, and they wanted to send him there to help establish it! Finally, his dream of working in international business became a reality!
The moral of the story?
People will come in and out of your life. You should always meet and part on good terms, because you just never know how, or when, you might see them again.
Samer did a great job of ending his work relationship with me. In the end, it was his dedication, professionalism, and approach that made me never think twice about trying to help him find a new career.
If you’re thinking about changing careers, changing employers, or just changing something else in your life, think about this story and don’t “burn the bridges” you have to other people. You never know when those people may reappear in your life.