Prepare a transition plan – overly acrimonious exits don’t serve anybody’s needs.
Alaskan TV news presenter Charlo Greene made a splash in the media world last week, after swearing live on air and announcing that she’d be leaving her job: “And as for this job, well, not that I have a choice but, f *** it, I quit,” she said.
With the dust settled, the incident now looks more like a clever marketing ploy than the exasperated outburst of a departing employee – she used the opportunity to plug her medical marijuana business, which subsequently reached a funding goal on crowdfunding site Indiegogo in less than 36 hours. Nonetheless, it’s raised questions over how to leave a job. Could Greene’s bridge-burning leave her worse-off in the long run, even though she’s switching industries? Is there a “right” way to quit?
SPARE US THE DRAMA
Regardless of the publicity gained for her new (non-TV) venture, Greene may come to regret leaving in such a reckless manner, says Barbara Pachter, a business communications expert. “It gives her 15 seconds of fame that people are going to talk about, but when that flame goes out, it really hurts her reputation,” she told Business Insider. Indeed, acrimonious exits (even less public ones than Greene’s on-air, expletive-ridden resignation) are best avoided in most cases.
Jodi Glickman, a Harvard Business Review contributor and author of the book Great on the Job, says: “No matter the situation, it doesn’t do you any good to rant and rave to your boss or stick it to them just because you can.” There are the obvious points about the likelihood of needing a reference, and (especially if you’re staying in the same sector) the possibility of running into old colleagues at other jobs in the future.
But Glickman also points out that firms and employees are making increasing use of their alumni networks to keep in touch with former staff and colleagues. It’s foolish to turn your back on such a potentially valuable collection of contacts spread across different businesses, she says, as they “may come in handy for the innumerable unseen opportunities that will likely present themselves over the next 10, 20, or 30 years.”
KEEPING THINGS SWEET
Of course, there are exceptions to the rule. Goldman Sachs executive director Greg Smith resigned in a stinging op-ed published in the New York Times in 2012, and was later offered a book deal worth a reported $1.5m (£922,078). But publicly slagging off an employer is a high-risk strategy for most. So how to keep things civil?
Tony Deblauwe, a careers expert and founder of the consultancy HR4Change, recommends preparing a transition plan. Make a record of any open customer issues, important contacts and “anything else that allows your boss or other designated people to pick up where you are leaving off.” It’s crucial that people don’t feel like they’re being left high and dry, he says. Finally, Forbes contributor Lisa Quast thinks it’s key to get your story straight. Colleagues are likely to have a barrage of questions about your decision to leave, and you’ll need to keep answers consistent.
Now that the clip of her resignation has received over 4.5m YouTube views, at least that’s one problem Greene won’t face.
CHARLO GREENE: RECKLESS RESIGNATION
After the broadcast of a pre-recorded news segment on medical marijuana business the Alaska Cannabis Club, KTVA news presenter Charlo Greene (legal name Charlene Ebge) revealed live on air that she owned the business, and would be leaving her job in TV to focus on campaigning for the legalisation of marijuana in Alaska. She said: “Now everything you’ve heard is why I, the actual owner of the Alaska Cannabis Club, will be dedicating all of my energy toward fighting for freedom and fairness, which begins with legalising marijuana here in Alaska.”
Keep track of your goals
Full allows you to track, measure, and visualise your progress on reaching a range of goals. You can set an unlimited number of targets (run 15 miles this week, read three books this month), and easily stay on top of them using the red, green and amber “stoplight indicators”. Simply swipe to add, subtract, edit or delete goals.