I am in the process of transitioning to a new team at work. My current (soon to be ‘former’) team has a tradition that when someone in the group moves to a new area, a celebration is held where people can gather to honor the team member who is leaving. Typically at these events small fun tokens of luck and cheer are given, and a few kind words or a bit of sage advice are shared.
Yesterday my team held such an event for me. As is my custom, I asked that people refrain from buying me trinkets, and instead donate any money they would have spent to a charity or cause of their choice. If people felt compelled to give me something tangible, I asked that they write a card instead. (I’m a sucker for stationary, and I deeply value the written word. [Probably no surprise on that one, eh?]) 😉
Over the course of a meal, various colleagues that I have worked with for a period of time shared unbelievably kind words with me. They each articulated what my professional and/or personal relationship has meant to them, what they value about me, how I touched their lives in some way big or small… and it was so, so beautiful. Truly. I was genuinely moved by the expressions of kindness, care, and compassion that were given to me; my heart felt cradled in grace – like an infant being soothingly rocked.
My team also honored my ‘no gifts’ request, and instead made donations to three wonderful organizations:
- Students First (dedicated to transforming public education)
- VH1 Save The Music (dedicated to restoring instrumental music education in public schools)
- World Vision (dedicated to helping children across the globe)
As the event came to a close, many people in the room gave me a card just before we all parted ways; and last night, I spent quite a lot of time reading the personal sentiments, and delighting in the spirit infused in them.
Here’s to my team – with heartfelt thanks.
Gosh, what a wonderful sendoff, goodbye to the old and on to the new —
Best of luck! with hopes for excitement, challenge, surprise, and growth.
Judith, thank you so much for your well-wishes! I’ve transitioned teams around 6-7 times in my 14+ years with the company (once every 2 years or so, on average) – and it’s always simultaneously sad to leave the old crew, and exciting to join the new folks. Always bittersweet. But – this sendoff *was* pretty darn amazing.
Kudos to the team! Kudos to YOU! Your new team is fortunate to have you.
Nice tribute to the team you are leaving and I know they wrote some wonderful accolades for you.
You would have to start a keep or pitch blog for trinkets anyway.
Ruth, you are too kind. Thank you so much for your very sweet sentiments!
Yup, trinkets = clutter. I struggle enough with the stuff I already have! 😉 I get much more satisfaction out of knowing others who really NEED get to receive goodies, versus me who is already blessed with SO much abundance.
What a wonderful tradition and how precious that you work with with a dream team. Kudos! 🙂
Finally catching up on posts and comments. TY! 🙂
It’s a great tradition, and a great team. I’m very, *very* lucky.
That’s nice that they did that. I would’ve made you wear a giant sombrero or something! OK, and I would’ve gotten a card for you too.
Katherine, it’s funny you should say that, because on one of my former teams (many years ago) for my promotion they took me out to happy hour at a Mexican restaurant, and they *did* make me wear a huge sombrero! It was, um, interesting…
How wonderful! Good luck in transitioning to your new team! 🙂
Thank you Sharon!
You deserve everything that comes your way. 🙂
Jonathan, you are very kind. Thank you. 🙂