Let Go of a Past Job - You Don't Work There Anymore

A woman shared with me how her boss was always bringing up experiences she encountered when she used to work for XYZ company.  "You know when I was there, we did this...We also did that...I really enjoyed that place.," the boss would tell staff members during meetings.  "Maybe we should do some things like them...When I worked there, we..."  So what do you think the employee and the rest of the staff were saying to themselves, "Well, you don't work there anymore!  And if it was so great, then why are you here with us?"

It is never a good idea to talk so much about a previous employer especially at a meeting.  Chances are someone just might go back and share one's experiences with the wrong person on a bad day.  Just imagine, "You know Jack is always talking about when he worked for Jill at Pail Enterprises.  He doesn't spend nearly as much time talking about work related business."  What do you think an owner might say about Jack talking so highly about the competition? 

The only time it is a good idea to bring up the past is if it is going to do two things: save time or money and even then, why mention the company?  Why not say, "I have a great idea, why don't we try doing...?"  Instead of, "When I worked for XYZ, we did a phenomenal job doing this...our team was very efficient and we got along so well."  Can you honestly say something like this about a previous employer without appearing prideful?  But some employees, do just that!  They actually cause division among the staff.  Rather than the focus being on the business at hand, everyone is focused on what a boss or employee said about his or her past experiences working with this company and that one.

The same woman who shared her past work history with the staff about her braggart boss, who loved to talk about her past employer, didn't look so happy.  The worker also showed clear signs she didn't like management too much either.  She mentioned someone complaining to the man, who hired her boss and him responding with, "I already know about her and she is good.  I hired her."  He said nothing addressing the issue and did nothing.  Fortunately, these days he is no longer her boss, his job is now available.

If you happen to be around such a person, who still is very much in love with his or her previous workplace, and doesn't mind telling the world about it, why not say, "Would you like to go back there?  Maybe we could make that happen."  This would send a clear sign to him or her to slow down with all the past employer talk.  Share with a superior that the past story-telling is annoying.  But if you are the one doing the bragging about the past, let this be a wake-up call to you, cut it out, because you aren't winning any new friends.

Nicholl McGuire 

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