Another good friend from work just announced she was leaving for a new job. When you work in a large company, change is inevitable. The more people in your company, the higher the odds are that your work friends will move into other positions inside or outside the company. But it’s still a shock to my system. One day you are saying good morning, the next day you are staring at an empty cubicle. I shouldn’t let it affect me but it does. It’s just business, right?
Those of you who spend long hours at work know what I’m talking about. The colleagues you see every day; go through battles with and enjoy laughing with; become a family of sorts… not more important than your spouse and kids, but a family nonetheless.
There are the going away parties, reunions and occasional long lunches, but it’s not easy to stay in touch. That’s one of the reasons Facebook and LinkedIn have become valuable to me. They are slowly but surely restoring whole communities of work friends that I met throughout my career. Not to mention all my childhood and school friends.
You could argue that it’s not as “real” as seeing people face to face, and you’re right. But it sure beats the heck out of wondering what happened to all those ghosts of careers past. It used to take just one email or phone number switch and they were gone forever. Now you can search with a high probability of finding.
I’m a social animal, and these connections are important to me. One of the greatest bosses I ever had is playing music again on stage. One of my best cube dweller friends from start-up days is having her second baby. One of the funniest and most talented guys I know is an insightful artist and blogger.
Many people will come and go in your life. Some are temporary and some will be lifelong connections, but you learn from each and every one. What a joy to see these ghosts coming to life again! What a joy to see you again.