For my co-workers that I did not get around to sharing a personal farewell to, and anyone else interested ... following, below, is what I sent around EMC as my good-bye note about a week ago.
I actually wrote the essence of this story as well here on my blog in 2007, as one of my first posts. It is a good story, though, as it shares an unexpected route to one person's career path mojo:
(Stay tuned for posts with stories and tips you might want to steal on "planning for your future" and "managing your exit." After that, I'll continue to share thoughts on the Social/21st Century Transformation in the workplace -- and the building of my new venture.)
PS: I am not gone from EMC in all ways. The EVP of HR has asked me to consult for the company, and I am able to help other organizations, inside and outside of EMC, in this regard as well.
Twenty years ago, on a hot day in August, I went to interview at an unknown company located in an ugly brown strip mall of a building, located in a little town I had never even driven through. I thought they made cardboard boxes for computers, but no matter, it was an opportunity for me to break into "PR!"
I asked the hiring manager, "Why are you looking to hire someone in PR?"
The reply, "We're about to miss the quarter. We have terrible quality problems in the marketplace. And, we're about to have a lay off, too. When we saw you came from an ad agency, we figured you would work out. We'll teach you the PR and tech stuff, and get you to be our in-house agency for any ads we need to place. We figure that 10% agency placement savings will cover your twenty-five thousand dollar salary, and we could use the PR help, too, especially as we ramp up this new product we have called a Symmetrix."
On my first day of the job, as badge #573, I was escorted all around the HQ, at 171 South St. I met Dick. I met Frank. I met Fitz (all of them!). It seemed the entire company fit on South Street.
A week or so later, Dick Egan wrote his last news release for EMC. It contained just one sentence. Something like, "EMC will not make its third quarter, ending September 30, 1991." There was no reason why. No estimates for what we might deliver. Nothing.
Next thing I know, it was requested that I go see Dick in his office. He sat behind a tin desk, and had a slab of wood sitting on top of two tin filing cabinets for his credenza. His desk was bare (no PC), but for a pencil, a legal-sized yellow pad of paper, and a stack of pink message slips.
He gave me a devilishly large smile, slid the message slips across the desk and asked me to return the calls. They were all from irate investors. That is how the "official" investor relations function started at EMC. That is how a 24 year-old young woman got the launch-pad of a lifetime.
I've had a tremendous ride at EMC in Advertising, PR, IR, Finance, Marketing, HR, and back to Marketing again. It is also time for me to move on, and share the knowledge I've gained at EMC and elsewhere, with more of the world.
I am honored to have made this journey with all of you. You always have a friend in Polly Pearson.
And now that I have no conflict of interest between EMC and "my other business," I encourage you all to go to the 1790 Restaurant and Tavern OFTEN. Buy the most expensive bottles of wine (CFO) David Goulden allows, and bring every customer that visits us in Massachusetts to the only restaurant in the area that genuinely cares for all of you like family. :)
I'll be setting up shop "upstairs at the 1790" under my name. I'll be writing, speaking, and consulting on The Networked Organization, Employment Branding, Social Media, and the Transformation of Work in the 21st Century. I'll also be hanging out in my new "cabin" at Lake Sunapee, NH, feeling grateful for the time I have spent working with you, on behalf of EMC. I couldn't have planned a better exit, at a better time for everyone.
All my love,
WORK: 208 Turnpike Road, Westborough, MA 01581
------------- TALK BACK ----------------------
Any thoughts on an ideal "good-bye note?" I thought for a couple of seconds of what to write, and remembered that everyone likes a good story. For my note, I decided to tell the story about the beginning. For those that know EMC, or our gregarious motivator and Founder, Dick Egan, and the ultimately uber-successful company he brought to life, it should read rather humorous.
Regarding "my other business," this is actually my husband's place of work. We own it. He runs it.
The restaurant is in a "gentleman's mansion," circa 1790. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and the craftmanship found on its 7 fireplaces, also earned it a place in the Smithsonian archives. My husband has been involved with this business since he came back from Vail in the early 1980's. When I was a teenager, I actually worked there as well on Saturday nights, "manning" the coat closet! (You see, I never really LEAVE my place of work, only return to it in different ways!)
"Upstairs" there are offices. The front corner office is now mine.
- Polly Pearson
@PollyPearson on Twitter