When it is time to leave…

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Sometimes you’ll initiate leaving a company, other times it may just happen out of the blue. In any case, there are a few things to think through before leaving a company… while you have access to corporate email and phone systems.

    1. Have a personal plan, if you don’t have one get one (make a budget…) but that will likely need to wait until you have time to think about it. What do you want to accomplish in the next 30, 60 or 90 days. Don’t get lost.
    2. Create a list of efforts you are working on and who your backup is – give this to your manager.
    3. Leave an out of office message for those who need to access your efforts/customers.
    4. Make sure your leader and those who will need to know (HR) have a valid address and phone number.
    5. Archive (non-company owned) materials for yourself, so you can reference them later.
    6. Make sure your manager knows about any materials that are in shared resources (e.g., OneDrive for business) that may be accessed by others but could go away when your accounts are removed.
    7. Does your company have any gamification efforts in health or other areas where there are monetary rewards? Make sure you cash them in.
    8. Save all the information on benefits for ex-employees that you can find (e.g., COBRA). They will give you a number of documents in a larger company, when you leave, but there can be alumni groups… on-line as well. They can be a tremendous resource.
    9. >Send a note to those you have been important to your work with the company to let them know you’ll be gone.
    10. Try to get a copy of anything you sign.

Help make the transition go well for everyone. Meet with your supervisor and offer to do anything possible to help fill the void created by your departure. It can be a rough time for them too.

Don’t burn any bridges, you never know which ones you may need to cross again in the future.

After you’ve left:

  1. Check on unemployment benefits. Depending on the state, even forced early retirement can have unemployment benefits associated with it. Health insurance will likely be important area of focus as well.
  2. Be positive — This is just another stop along a journey. Spend your extra time getting fit, educated or something that will improve your person outlook. Prepare yourself of the emotional roller coaster to follow.
  3. Update LinkedIn and your résumé. Some people scoff at LinkedIn, but this is what it is for.

I am sure I’ve missed something but those were what came to mind this morning. Drop a comment with ideas to help things go well.

#unemployment #work #COBRA

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Back in Seattle

Last week, I was able to go back on the Microsoft campus in Redmond for a meeting. That’s the first time I’ve been back there since I spent 3 months there as part of the EDS Top Gun program back in 2005.

Flying into Seattle, we got a good view of the Space Needle and the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame.seattle

There were a number of déjà vu moments walking around the Microsoft campus.

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I always find these opportunities to see what companies are most proud of very telling. It was clear that cloud, analytics and human interface transformations were in the forefront of their thinking — much like the rest of us.

DARPA breakthrough technologies report for 2015

Future signBack in March, DARPA released their latest vision for the future. I hadn’t really seen much coverage of it after that so I thought I’d share it.

There were four technologies areas highlighted:

  • Rethink Complex Military Systems: DARPA is looking to make weapons systems more modular and easily upgraded and improved. Likely similar to the architectural and design decisions being made in most businesses today.
  • Master the Information Explosion: DARPA is developing technologies to ensure that the data and systems with which critical decisions are made are trustworthy so they are looking at methods to create fundamentally more secure systems. They are also investigating the growing need to ensure privacy at various levels of need without losing the national security value that comes from appropriate access to networked data. Once again not all that different from the discussions taking place in most businesses today.
  • Harness Biology as Technology: Leveraging breakthroughs in neuroscience, immunology, genetics and related fields, DARPA in 2014 created its Biological Technologies Office. There has been success withneural implants and prosthetic limbs, and they plan on building from there.  DARPA’s work in this area includes programs to accelerate progress in synthetic biology, outpace the spread of infectious diseases and master new neurotechnologies. Not exactly at the core of every business but those in bio-tech are definitely looking here too.
  • Expand the Technological Frontier: DARPA is working on basic research to achieve new capabilities by applying deep mathematics; inventing new chemistries, processes and materials; and harnessing quantum physics. This is one area where government level funding makes a long-lasting impact where eventually the entire economy may benefit.

Although some information is not applicable to everyone, those interested in thinking about the future of their businesses should give this document a look.