A super cool guy at Microsoft (whose work is tangentially related to mine) just announced he was leaving today after 18 years at the company. I was really moved by his going-away e-mail, which featured the following list:
18 for 18 – Life lessons from a “lifer” at Microsoft
1995 Sometimes people just needs a chance to prove themselves.
1996 Quitting just because you may fail isn’t an option.
1997 Being good at something has value whether you get paid well or not.
1999 Sometimes failure is a better teacher than success.
2000 People are more than just what they produce.
2001 Having kids shifts your priorities.
2002 Not everyone has your back. (The bus hurts when it runs over you.)
2003 Listening is undervalued but you should do it anyway. It makes you wiser.
2004 Sometimes you have to force yourself into a new situation order to grow.
2005 Working for an idiot is really, really hard.
2006 Stand up for yourself but don’t compromise your integrity to get ahead.
2007 Hire people more talented than you.
2008 If you stay in one job too long you could become irrelevant.
2009 Never burn bridges. You don’t know who you will work with again. (Plus it’s stupid.)
2010 A rising tide really does lift all boats.
2011 Be kind, be direct, and speak truth.
2012 If you leave with friends, you have accomplished much.
Don’t know what trajectory my career may follow, but I can already tell these lessons will be helpful for me.