I never expected that anyone would much care that I was leaving my current job for a new opportunity. I figured people would pat me on the shoulder, wish me luck on my new adventure, and send me on my way. Just the opposite. People have gone out of their way to connect, to learn about my new job, and to make sure that they have my personal contact info correct so we can stay in touch. And these aren't just my friends from work, but senior people whom I greatly respect and admire. It is nothing short of flattering. Of course, there are a few odd responses - people who have written me off before I'm out the door and those who have even chosen to ignore me altogether - but those are the very small minority and are people I never hoped to stay in touch with going forward.
While I have sometimes dreaded winding down my time at a job, and know many others who have had similar experiences, this time around I am glad to have over a week remaining. Closing these loops and ensuring their long-term stability are important. I now understand how professional networks and webs are built, and absolutely see that they are at least as valuable, if not more so, than the actual experience from a job. These days, everything seems to be about relationships.
The dawning of the age of social networking tools also eases the sting of leaving a job. I am a self-admitted sap. I think I've cried every time I've left a job. Though this time with these new tools at my disposal, it is easy to see that the many wonderful people I have worked alongside of will be in my life for years to come. It's not a "good-bye", but a "see you around the bend". All the more reason to make sure those bridges remain whole and intact.