Leave as a Blessing or a Thorn

So you've been told your job is eliminated. You've been given an end date. We all know it's usually best to look for work while we still have a job so an out-of-work period on our resume doesn't have to be explained. 

You may be hurt, or angry. Maybe extremely angry. Before you go into a place of bitterness from which it can be enormously difficult to extricate yourself, keep this in mind: this is so common in the corporate world today it's hardly worth mentioning. Organizations lay people off, eliminate jobs, slash workforces with astonishing regularity. It's nothing new. People lose their jobs every day, for good and bad reasons. Managers are told they must reduce their divisions by 10%, even if reducing certain divisions will have a negative impact on the company. Whole departments are deemed unnecessary. Sales fall so precipitously a company has to reduce its employees or face bankruptcy. It is what it is. It's not personal. Actually, that's the problem: it's quite impersonal. The people at the top most often do not care about the people who are losing jobs; they care about the bottom line. 

So keep this in perspective. It happens every day. You are not the first to experience it, even though it may be the first time in your life it has happened. 

The question is: will you leave as a blessing or a thorn? Will you do what's necessary to assist the person who will be rolling in behind you, usually wholly unaware of the personal devastation this event is having on your life? Will you help executives who may have never cared about you clean up a department as you go, or put files in order, or make sure an important client doesn't drop through the cracks? Or will you spread your bitterness around the office like so many little thorns, passively-aggressively dispensing pain and discomfort? Will you say, in essence, "I'll be damned if I'll help them. They certainly aren't helping me." 

I will say it simply here, and I hope you will chew on this and ingest it thoughtfully: it is beyond foolish to leave as a thorn. You shoot yourself in the foot by departing with a stink. Not only does such idiocy jeopardize any sort of recommendation you might need to receive as you search for new employment, it slams the door on the possibility that someone there who may have never noticed your contribution might just notice it now, and remember you. That person may be someone who calls you down the line as circumstances change, or you may need to call them for a favor. Leave as a thorn and no matter how long you have been there and how much people have liked you, they will be glad to see you go on your last day.

In addition, consider your integrity. (That is, if this means something to you. If it does not, read no further.) Do not allow circumstances to compromise your integrity. Do what is right because it is right. If you play silly games of sabotage or refuse to provide your service in your last bit on the job, you are not affecting the people who sliced your position off the map. Those people don't care. They can't see you. You are affecting the people you claim to like, who have worked alongside you, who have to pick up the excrement you have left once you're gone. Is that your plan? To make everyone pay? 

Go somewhere and grieve on your own. Decide to leave as a blessing. Grace always gives. Integrity always does what's right. Be a person of character even when others around you have none. It will benefit you later on--you'll see.