How Will You Be Remembered?

As morbid as this sounds there has been a lot of talk about death this week with my family. My step-dad’s mother passed Monday and the services were this week; which reminded me of a friend who lost his mother in September and her services; which then prompted my son’s dad and me to talk about how we would like our services to be performed when it is our time.

Just for the record – there will be no hymns or scriptures read at my funeral, no somber minister offering words of comfort. Nope. My son will lead it and my best friend will be there to make sure he gets it right. I want it to be a celebration of the people in my life, not my death. I want laughter and no potted plants.

Potted plants means someone has to take them home, then they have to take care of them and maybe think about they got them at a funeral. No thanks. Any flowers I would prefer my favorite – yellow roses, and after the service I want them all taken to a retirement home and given to the women there. Women love getting roses. Afterwards I want everyone to go get food, drink and be merry. I want dancing – lots of dancing. Women love dancing too.

I would be perfectly content if my friends told my son that I was a pain in the butt, but I cared. It’s honest and he would appreciate it. Heck, he would probably one up them on pain-in-the-butt stories! I think this is how anyone I’ve worked with would describe me – I care.

I care about doing things the right way, I care about making sure everyone on the team feels and performs like a valuable member, I care about my clients, my co-workers and bosses. I care about people’s feelings and helping them achieve their goals. I care about making sure I practice what I preach and that I give everything I do everything I’ve got.

Sometimes I say too much, am too outspoken, too stubborn – sometimes I am argumentative or like a dog with a bone – I don’t give up, I don’t back down and I don’t like to hear “no”. Like the saying goes – the question isn’t who is going to let me – it is who is going to stop me. My ex-husband told me once that I thought I was as big as he was – I’m 5’ tall, he is 6’4.

I’ve talked to plenty of former co-workers to know how I am remembered at my former positions. There is a consistency and that is something I am proud of – it is important to me that who I am is reflected in what I do.

Take a minute to think about what your co-workers, bosses and others would describe you. Is this what you would prefer them to think – or pass along to the next employer? If there is any doubt about that, take heart, you have plenty of time to adjust how you are perceived. You just need to start – today.

You may hate your job or even your boss, but do not let that be what you are known or remembered for – perform each task with purpose and grace. People talk, it is truly a small world. You never know who someone knows. Given this, wouldn’t it be nice if someone affiliated with a company that you are targeting has heard great things about you from a completely unrelated source? Reputation is a powerful thing.

Make sure your work and actions speak for themselves and they will speak volumes on your behalf without you even knowing it.

Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW
Career Coach-Strategist
Certified Professional Resume Writer
Career Polish, Inc.

2 thoughts on “How Will You Be Remembered?”

  1. One of my favorite compliments from a past VP of a company I worked for was “You never gave less than 100% to our company and your supervisor even though she treated you with no regard and did not recognize the value you brought to this company every day.” To background this, my supervisor had been fired three months prior for her unethical behavior towards me over a period of three years. I reported and reported, but she always seemed to somehow cover her tracks. I hated going to that job. It was so bad that I had to take anxiety medication daily just to deal with this woman. However, I loved the clients and the company as a whole. She was only one piece and I was determined to make sure that a client never suffered because of the supervision I was under. I did move on from that company, but only after the VP came from headquarters (550 miles away) to personally speak to me and present me with a letter of recommendation and an offer to come work for his office. It was worth putting up with her actions when I realized that even the highest management recognized my efforts and acknowledged my dedication to a job well done. The VP hand wrote a copy of his letter for me to keep in an effort to show that it was not just some form letter he signed and I have that letter framed in my office to look at each day!

    1. That is awesome! I a really applaud the VP – so often we forget the impact it can make in just telling someone that you appreciate them. Hats off to you for giving so much of yourself despite your boss – that speaks volumes about you!

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