How to create a legacy in 5 ‘simple’ steps

Whenever you accept a new job, it’s natural to start thinking about the impression you’ll leave behind when you walk out of the old office for the last time.

Will colleagues remember your efficiency, drive and determination… or your tardiness, impatience and terrible cups of tea? What will your successor do differently and what ideas will they have that you didn’t?

My time at Lakeside is drawing to an end so I’ve been thinking about the idea of legacy and what kind of impression I might leave behind.

Here are my five ‘simple’ steps (if only it were that easy!) to creating a legacy for yourself:

  1. Be good at your job. This might sound really, really obvious but it’s a sure-fire way of making sure people remember you for the right reasons. Once you’re gone and other people have to pick up the slack – and maybe certain things even start falling through the cracks – you’ll certainly be thought of fondly. Being particularly bad at your job will also make you memorable, mind you…
  2. Make your work very visible. Easier said than done in some roles but if you can make your work big (physically large like an event/installation or the absolute talk of the office for many months), it – and you – will be much harder to forget.

    My last Lakeside project – a commemorative display of 3,500 poppies

  3. Be nice. As far as I’m concerned this is far too often overlooked. Have you ever replaced someone who everyone clearly adored? If you have, you’ll know exactly how much of a difference simply being nice can make; it makes you a very tough act to follow.
  4. Win an award. They’re not just great for the company, they’re fantastic for your CV. And, each year those awards roll round and someone new is tasked with writing the next entry, your name is bound to come up.
    On stage with the Lakeside team receiving our 2011 Purple Apple award

    On stage with the Lakeside team receiving our 2011 Purple Apple award

  5. Stay in touch. Have you ever heard the phrase, “Never burn your bridges”? If you leave for the right reasons and are open and honest about it, you’ll be able to keep in touch with your colleagues. Who doesn’t need someone to run an idea by or ask a bit of advice from every now and then? If an incredible new opportunity arises, it’s much more likely you’ll get a call, too.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my four years at intu Lakeside Shopping Centre and hopefully I’ve managed to take my own advice.

Onwards and upwards, or so they say…


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