Today feels very surreal. It is my last day with Holden Custom Products, but I have a feeling that it will not be the last time I see the friendly faces at Holden.
The reason I am so sure that it is merely a "see you later" that I will give by the end of today instead of a "goodbye" is simply this... Working for Holden felt like working as a family, even though the family business has expanded over the years to include many more amazing people. I know that "it feels like we're a family" is often a standard throwaway line for many situations, but I ACTUALLY feel that way.
"Who's Coming With Me?!?"
Just so you know, I cringe at cliche's as much as you might. So I will try to spare you from as many as possible in this post. It's bad enough that I will be that guy holding a box of all my belongings, explaining why to every person that happens to be sharing the same elevator as me on the way down to my car. How passe'.
Maybe I should make up a good story for that person on the elevator. It would be nice to say I went out like Jerry Macquire, with a slick catch phrase yelled after I am asked to leave the property. That would be really funny to me, but it would definitely not be anywhere near what actually happened.
The company ordered pizza for everyone, and had a great farewell party for me! How amazing is that? Sorry, I know it probably sounds like I am bragging now, but I guess I kind of am. Its not every day that you get a pizza party in your honor for anything but a birthday, so I am feeling pretty special at the moment.
What Helped Me
The truth is I learned so much from working here at this "family business" and many of those lessons I will take with me to every other position I hold in the future. For those working at a family owned and operated business, or even if you work at a small business that has the luxury of feeling like family, these tips might help. They really helped me, and hopefully contributed to the already positive work environment.
Try these tips that helped me add to it:
1. Ask If You Can Help
Take every opportunity to offer your services. Co-workers will often mention something they might be struggling with. Do not wait for them to ask, offer your help and follow through with assisting them as soon as possible. Get a reputation for being helpful, it never hurts.
2. Learn How To Make Coffee
We all love drinking coffee in the morning. The area next to the coffee machine is the new "watering hole", and heck, sometimes the coffee machine is even right next to the actual water cooler. If your co-workers know they can count on you to make coffee in the morning, you will be very missed on those days you are not in the office.
3. Study Everyone's Style And Preferences
Observe what works best for your coworkers, then adapt to their styles of working when possible. It might even be a good idea to ask what is preferred when dealing with those that you need to communicate regularly with. They might appreciate the courtesy of hearing, "What's the best way to communicate with YOU; is it email, instant messenger, or a quick phone call?". Being flexible with how others work can really help you hone your communication skills, and help get things done a bit faster.
Take every opportunity to listen to your coworkers are saying to you. Really listen. Stop talking and just listen. Then listen some more.
5. Say Hi To Everyone In The Building
Make it a goal to not let a single person escape your warm smile and greeting every day. They might be looking at there phone, or walking past you in the hallway, or even sharing the elevator with you... Just waiting to get away without having to make human contact. Don't let them! Say hello. Who knows who you might just meet?
6. Become A Jack Of All Trades
You would be surprised just how many times that thing you dabble in, just might help someone or your job. Try to learn as much as you can in your industry. Do research on how you can bring more value without being asked, or expecting anything in return. It will not go unnoticed for long.
7. Share What You Know
When you help someone relieve a pain point in their work day, you could make a friend for life. People are so appreciative of someone that can swoop in and help them with something they are struggling with, or better yet, someone that teaches them how to solve the problem themselves. Taking time out of your day to help someone learn always pays off. It helps you sharpen your own knowledge on the subject and it gives you a great feeling for the rest of the day.
8. Take Things Off Of Your Bosses Plate
This one has the highest impact on your job security, and it is just one of those great career hacks that I have found to be priceless. If you can effectively take something that your boss does not look forward to doing, and do it BETTER then he or she would, well... You do the math. It's a win win. Make sure that you can effectively do your current duties as well as what you offer to take responsibility for. It is crucial that your boss does not have to worry about this particular task ever again. Collect enough of those responsibilities off of that plate, continue to do all of them better ever, and prepare to have your boss in your corner for life.
I hope you can find the same success at your business using these short tips. Like i have said before, they sure have helped me.
Working for Holden Custom Products and helping to build brands like BeachTowels.com has been an absolute pleasure, and as you can see I have learned so much from my experience here. But now its time to finish some pizza, grab a box, and start packing up my desk.
Thanks to everyone at Holden, you made me feel like a part of the family.