Fantastic Driver available- or how a Recommendation letter can start a new business

A few years ago when we moved to Beijing, we started of with having a driver for the first six months of living there. Traffic participation seemed daunting to us, and being driven around by a safe driver was a good start of getting to know the (lack of) rules in Beijing.  As you may know, the first phase of traffic participation here starts with honking and shouting and being angry with others in traffic. In the second phase, you are at peace with the world and the traffic, and endure it in Zen style. In the third phase, the other drivers started honking for me, and not because I am a pretty girl. I am trying to move back to phase 2, but this seems very difficult. 

Recommendation starts something new

But coming back to my point, we only needed a driver for 6 months, and after that, our driver got a little anxious on what to do, because he had had these 6 months jobs for a while now and wanted something else. I write a recommendation letter for him in English and printed it out, so that he could easily find a new client. And he did, He started right away after we let him go. But something else happened as well: because of our recommendation letter he had gained trustworthiness with more clients than he could handle on his own, and at the same time there was a shortage of license plates in Beijing due to the new regulations: so he started a whole driver/ car -rental and service company, and now he has quite a fleet of cars and an office in Beijing.

Recommendation: don’t forget your responsibility as a company when you have to let go!

Our driver still brings us to the airport when we need him: he does this for free for us, because he says, you helped me start my business.  So that is the power of a good recommendation letter; if you have to let go of someone in your company, take your time and make an effort to write a concise and practical recommendation letter, stating the things your former employee did best.  It may seem too simple, but stating that someone always arrived on time, is a great thing to do: Top Tips:

-Actually state in the first sentence that you recommend someone with your company name , your name and the former employee name, and the type of work you recommend he/she can do.

-Stay true, and make clear why someone had to go (end of contract) and what he could be doing next.

-State what went right, achievements made.  Achievements are more important than buzz words like ‘teamplayer’ and ‘energetic’.

-Life is long- you never know when you will see someone again, and what they could mean for you, after your recommendation: maybe a free ride to the airport is in for you, maybe more?


And for info on my ayi, who is available from June 20 onwards, contact me per email!