Day 117: When do you know you need to move on? Being a chamber or economic development exec is a rewarding career. Sometimes it is hard to explain to the average citizen or ten year old what we do. But when you have been around a community for a few years it is rewarding to drive around and identify all the business growth that you assisted. We don’t create the jobs. Business does. But we can impact the speed by which additional jobs occur. We can help develop land so businesses can move in, or we can help rehab a building, etc. But if you are doing your job really well it is hard not to upset some people. These people could even be very influential people in the community. So, you have three choices when this happens. You can bury your head in the sand and hope it goes away. It might go away or you might get fired. You can decide to start looking for another job. Or, you can take on the concern head on and sit down with the detractors and discuss their concerns and present why you did what you did. If you love your job and the community, it is definitely worth sitting down to discuss. Especially if the problem is caused because of some action you took. Now if there are personality problems (which there really should not be) or you are really lazy and have not accomplished anything in the plan, then it may be harder to stay. Back to the personality problem. Believe me I know there are some people that just really don’t like each other. I work very hard not to get in those situations, but you can’t control the other persons feelings about you. But if I have to work with someone and I can tell they just don’t like me, I will always have a discussion with them to find out what I have done to make them not like me. In some cases it can’t be repaired. But, I will say (I have only dealt with one person ever that just plain didn’t like me) “I understand that you have problems with me. But we both want this community to grow, so let’s put aside our personal issues and do what is right for the community.” This statement can be used even if there is just a simple disagreement and you get along. When your job is to make your community better, everyone is on your team. You may not like one another, but you need to look at the bigger picture.
So, I would argue that it is really up to you how long you stay in a community. I know those that have been fired may not agree with me. But I think if you could step away from the issue and view it as an outsider, you would know you could have changed some things that would have kept your job. If you have a plan, follow it. Treat everyone in town as a team mate on your team. Be happy. Keep your word. Make sure the organization gets the credit for things, not you and don’t lie and you will have a job for as long as you want. Next: Trick or Treat?Next Previous