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Someday Your Employees Will Be Random Encounters

September 26, 2019

It had been years since I’d thought about him. And why not? It had been nearly 10 years since he worked for me. And he was only on my team for slightly less than a year. He had been an intern then.

Craig was one of the first interns I’d hired in my role as a team manager a large non-profit in Utah. I really enjoy working with interns; interns and new college grads.

Those brand new to the workforce are looking for direction. Everything is happening to them for the first time. I often think of my early years in business and wish someone had helped shape my thinking a little bit.

I’m a huge fan of the singer Billy Joel. I’ve seen him in concert multiple times. Sadly he quit making original music many years ago. He now does concerts of his old music. He also occasionally lectures to college classes. It’s a combination concert and discussion.

He offers the lectures as a way of “paying it forward.”

There’s a job aspect to this thing that I do. And maybe I can help someone else who is starting out.

I guess that’s part of the reason I like to work with those just entering the workforce. Craig was finishing up his final year in school. Coming to work for us wasn’t easy. In fact, Craig put quite a bit of work into it. He sent a letter to the acting director over our entire division. That letter worked it’s way down to my department. My manager forwarded his resume to all the Team Managers.

I’ve been asked to see if we can find a spot for this recent graduate.

The best part was that he didn’t take up one of my FTE, or full time spots. No one else wanted him. Which was great becasue I really wanted him.

He was brilliant. Much smarter than the engineers we typically were able to attract. Not that our engineers weren’t good. But, Craig was one of those guys who gets to pick his spots.

We worked together for 8 months. He described me as “An old guy who tells stories.” He left us because he had an opportunity to go to work for a startup with an exciting product with plenty of startup funds.

I don’t know if I should take it.

Why not, it’s great.

Well, my internship was for a year. And I’m not sure what people would say if I left it early.

Considering that anyone who asks about your internship would have to ask me, I can tell you that no one would say a thing about it. Go, your job here isn’t a career. This new opportunity could be the start of that career.

Oh sure, I could have kept him for another few months and I would have gotten plenty of good work out of him. But, I’ve always beleived that you do right by your employees and they will do right by you.

So, after nearly ten years he reached out.

Say Rodney, you had that list of 16 Management Rules. One of them came up in a meeting the other day. Do you by chance have a copy?

Sure. They are located on my blog, here. (16 Management Rules that Make No Sense.)

By the way, you are the still the best boss I’ve ever worked for.

And I realized that was why I do what I do. If the very first boss you had in the workforce can leave an impression as your best boss, your career will have had a good start.

The end

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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(c) 2019 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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