January 16, 2008

We Are Replaceable

Posted in Careers, Life, On the Job tagged , , , at 10:53 am by Katelyn

“Remember, you are replaceable.” That’s what my mother told me last week. And no, she wasn’t talking about me as a daughter, she was talking about me as an employee. Talk about a reality check; but how true that statement is!

I am going through what feels like a huge life change. I was offered a new position that would be great for my career (I hope!), but when discussing it with my family I kept feeling guilty at the thought of leaving my current employer after only 7 months. I felt I would be letting them down after they took a chance on me, not to mention that we get along very well in most instances. I also know that they are very pleased with the work I produce. That is when my mother interrupted and said, “every employee is replaceable.”

We sometimes get these ideas in our head that an organization or department is going to fall apart when we leave. But the truth is, someone did our job before us and someone else will do it after we leave. Sure, we produce great work and do it with a smile, and we will be missed once we’re gone, but there is a lot of other talent out there waiting for an opportunity like the one I’ve received. I’d like to think that by leaving I may be giving someone else their chance to learn and to shine.

This doesn’t make the leaving and the change any easier for me, but a little dose of reality every now and then (even from your mother) does help to put things into perspective. Life, and work, will go on without you and it always pays to put yourself first in your career.

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