Have you turned in all company property? Check! Have you gathered all your personal belongings? Check! Did you say your good byes? Check! Then it’s time to go.
This is the mental check list I went through a few weeks ago as I was transitioning from the world of TV news to life at TDS Telecommunications Corp. (TDS®). It’s been a successful transition, except for one thing. What comes next is a cautionary tale.
Until recently I had two cell phones, one for work and one for personal use. I know what you’re thinking and yes, it was annoying having two phones (I ended up buying a man purse, also known as a murse, to help). My work phone had the numbers of all my professional contacts, a list that I built over a four and one-half year period. It also had my work email. My personal cell phone contains the contact information of people I’ve known since high school, games, pictures, videos, and course tons of applications.
I know people who use their work phone as their personal phone. I refuse to do this for one reason. When the time comes to move on you have to give the phone back, and in most cases, get a new phone number. Getting a new number is a pain. Not only do you have to tell all of your contacts that your number has changed, (it has gotten easier thanks to social media websites like facebook and mass text messages), but now you have to remember a new telephone number. I have enough going on in my head and seven more digits may be more than I can handle.
Thanks to cell phones, both smart and dumb, no one remembers phone numbers anymore. We put them in our phones and forget about them.
So when I was preparing to return all of the company issued property I tore apart my apartment looking for the box that came with the Samsung Galaxy S3, manual and charging cable. Once I located all of them I wiped the phone clean. In my haste I forgot to back up the contacts to my computer. Everything was gone and a valuable lesson was learned.
This is why I think Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies, like the one TDS has, are good. Here at TDS if you have an Android or iPhone mobile device you can get an app for your email. When, or if, you move on the IT department can simply get rid of all the company information on the phone and give the phone back to you. Your contact list, pictures, games and applications will be intact.
If I’d had that option I may still have some of those professional contacts. Now, if I want to reach out I’m forced to look up the number. Who has time for that?