Just say goodbye

Have you ever lost or left a job – whether you loved it or hated it – and felt adrift, or vaguely unhappy, or even too stuck to move on?

Today I want to share with you a strategy – Writing A Goodbye Letter To Your Job – that can help free you if you, a friend, family member or client ever end up in job-leaving limbo.

I created this strategy many years ago when I had trouble making a clean separation myself.

I quit a job I loved as a Governor’s press secretary.  The Governor’s term was coming to an end.  It was time to go. And, writing the goodbye letter helped me to honor my work and move on to my next dream, which was to attend graduate school at Harvard University.

But first …

Let’s say hello to many, many new Women on Fire for whom this is your first Spark! 

We have so many new readers after radio talk show host (and beloved Woman on Fire) Janette Barber interviewed me last week on SiriusXM.  If you know Janette, you know what a dynamo she is.

She’s been a stand-up comic; she created and hosted “Lighten Up” on the Food Channel; she played a key role with Rosie O’Donnell on TV and radio.  And, for the last year and a half she hosted Janette’s Show on SiriusXM.

Last week, despite a very loyal listenership, her show was cancelled.

And, Janette, being Janette, has a peace about it all. She always lands on her feet and we can look forward to whatever she does next!

So, she asked me to come on one of her final shows to discuss strategies that can help people if they lose or choose to leave their jobs.

Writing A Goodbye Letter To Your Job can greatly ease the transition. I have used this strategy countless times since I started my coaching practice in 1995. And, it can bring insights, relief and hope to the writer.

It’s even helpful if you have a new job that you are excited about, but still find yourself ruminating or thinking about what went wrong or people and work you miss in your last job.

Below you will find 15 prompts to write your letter and suggestions for what to do after you finish your letter.  So, here’s what you do:

Begin by writing to your job.  For example: Dear Production Assistant, Dear Teacher, Dear Senior Vice President, whatever your job was.

Using all, or whichever prompts speak to you, take your time to wrote your letter. My preferred way is to write long-hand.  Continue writing until you feel finished and have nothing more to say to the job.

Prompts for Writing a Goodbye Letter to Your Job

  1. During the time you held your job, what significant events occurred in your life?
  2. Describe what part this job has played in your career.
  3. What will you miss?
  4. What won’t you miss?
  5. Who will you miss?
  6. Who won’t you miss?
  7. Who did you meet who turned out to be important to your growth?
  8. During your time in this job, what was your biggest disappointment?
  9. What do you want to “take” with you?
  10. What do you want to make sure you never repeat?
  11. Your funniest moment?
  12. Your best accomplishment?
  13. How much money do you estimate you made during this job?
  14. Is there anything about the way this job ended that you want to note?
  15. Five years from now, you will look back on this job and you will know:

When you are done, be sure to thank your job and say goodbye.

Then, you can choose to do any number of things:

Burn it.

Shred it.

Tuck it away for safekeeping.

Read it out loud to someone you trust.

Keep it with instructions to read again after a period of time.

Enjoy this strategy if you choose to use it.  And feel free to keep me posted on how it worked for you.

Janette said she plans to write her letter goodbye to SiriusXM.  Please join me in wishing this wonderful Woman on Fire a clear path to her next best and greatest adventure!