It is often said that our industry is closely intertwined (there is another word, but it has overly negative connotations). We all try to not burn bridges because invariably, we will meet, work with, supervise, or work for someone who knows someone in the community association industry. Am I right?
There are times when managers are hired by a Board of Directors and enjoy an excellent working relationship for the entire term. The manager, committees and directors are in sync and they collectively “move the ball forward” by completing projects, staying on budget, creating and approving resolutions that benefit the community, and have a generally good rapport with owners. All parties understand that it takes effort to maintain these relationships and most are open to resolving any disputes, complaints and deficiencies. Yes, this does actually happen…
Then, at the next Annual Meeting and Election, three of seven directors change and the board dynamics change dramatically. You must begin a new series of relationships and understand how the personalities will work with you, and the remaining board members. And… it’s not working out so well. Been there? Yep? Didn’t work out too well? It’s okay. Sometimes despite all of our efforts, we cannot overcome whatever bias, dissatisfaction, or negative perception the new board members have against us, and they want us out. Sometimes it’s the management company who does not want us any longer. Who knows? Who cares? Can you truthfully say you have given it your all and best? If the answer is yes, dust off the resume, and keep it moving. If not, you must ask for an exit interview, and find out what you did to sour the relationship. If it’s your fault; apologize. You must avoid the mistakes in the future if you want to say in the industry. Failure is not fatal; it is just a step on the ladder to success. There is no success without failure.
You can begin your new job search by leveraging your contacts. Let everyone know that you are available; ask for references, introductions, advice and direction. Swallow your pride and be prepared to take a lesser position if it means you learn a new skill as well. Personally thank everyone who helped you whether they were directly responsible for your new gig or not. They were willing to help, and that is valuable.
So my advice is: shake it off. Start today by doing the best job you can. Look ahead, the windshield is much larger than the rearview mirror.
Endeavor to persevere.
Tanoa Lynne Poirier is the Managing Principal at Poirier Enterprises Inc., specializing in the management of community associations, commercial and investment properties, and individual residences in South Florida.
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