Looking Forward, Looking Back

workbeth.jpg by you.Today is my last day of work at my current job.  It seems like just days ago that I gave my notice, but it’s actually been a month!  Where did the time go?  I have a full day ahead of me – first to the office to wrap up a few last things (such as printing out the operations manual I wrote for my successor, forwarding email to the person who will deal with until my successor is hired, a last few HR things), then to UBC run a focus group, record a few videoclips for a conference presentation that I’m giving next month and coordinate a workshop.  Then to my program’s year-end dinner1.  So I’m sure the day will fly by and then tomorrow me and Zaphod Beeblebrox the Car head out for our first day of commuting to the new job!  I’m very, very excited about the new job2 – the co-worker with whom it seems I’ll be doing much of my work sent me a very nice email this past week letting me know that although he’s away for much of this week, he’s arranged for the office coordinator to get me set up on my first day, he’s left me some background reading and set up some meetings for me to get to know the people and programs that I’ll be working with.  And I *can’t wait* to get to all that!

But I think it’s also a good time to reflect on the job I’m leaving.  I’ve been with this job for just more than two years and there are a lot of things I’ve gained from the experience.  Off the top of my head, some of those things include:

  • a chance to learn in detail about:
  • developing skills such as:
    • managing people
    • creating budgets and financial projections
    • creating Flash files and more advanced web design that I knew previously
    • grant writing
    • program evaluation
  • networking – including opportunities for some consulting work
  • and, most importantly, some really good friends!

I’m really going to miss the people I’ve been working with.  I spent many of my evenings last week having dinners with work friends and coming to terms with the fact that I will now have to make an actual effort to keep in touch with them. No longer will I be able to stop in at Bryn’s office on my way down the hall to catch up on our respective weekends or to rant about the various bureaucratic hoops through which we were required to jump; Patrice won’t be be crossing the hall to my office to share frustrations and stories and high fives and victory dances; I won’t be able to pop downstairs to Amy’s office to collaborate on grant applications and compare notes on careers and personal lives; my regular lunch dates with Shalu are now at an end.  I’m sure I’ll meet lots of wonderful people at my new job – the ones I’ve met so far are fantastic – but I’m truly going to miss my current co-workers!  I’ve been collecting non-work email addresses and cell phone numbers (and have plans to cook dinner at Patrice’s (I’m going to teach her some vegetarian cooking and she’s going to teach me some Jamaican cooking!) and for Bryn and I to avail ourselves of some coffee shop patio wifi in order to get her into Gmail (I’ve been harassing her for the past two years to abandon her hotmail account!)). While it will take some actual work to make plans to stay in touch, I’m feeling it will be well worth the effort!

Anyway. I guess it’s time to head out and enjoy my last day of work!

1Yes, my last day of work is conveniently the day with the party.
2It doesn’t hurt that every time I tell someone the name of the organization for which I will be working, they say, “Oh, they are a *great* employer! I (or my friend so-and-so) have had such a good experience working for them!”