Recently a young man told me this story:
“I hate my job so much, I’ll do anything to get out of it. My boss is an idiot, the company is allowing stupid things to occur and no one is paying attention to the customers, vendors or products. This company is totally screwed & I refuse to work with them any longer. As soon as I can figure out a way out of here, I am gone.”
A few days later he sent me a text message saying he was putting in his two week notice. He wanted to know what to say in the message. This is what I told him:
“Send your boss an email and thank him for the opportunity to have worked with him and at the company. Tell him you enjoyed the experience and the personal & professional development it afforded you. Let him know you have another venture that you want to pursue and that you are sad to have to leave, but are excited about what the future holds for you.”
I told him to cc: HR, his boss’ boss & the person who originally hired him.
I sent him another message and said this, “Say nothing negative, in any way at all, to anyone about your experience with this company. Every statement to employees, vendors, customers & the public about the job you are leaving must be positive in every way, regardless of how you really feel. PERIOD”
He sent me another message and asked, “what do I say if they ask me the real reason I am leaving?”
This is my next message to him, “Every statement you make about your reason for leaving must be positive. Do not speak negative about your boss at all. If you want to offer any suggestions that can improve the company, make these comments in a positive manner, never negatively. PERIOD”
Now – Why do you think I told this young man not to talk smack about his boss or to tell anyone the truth, from his perspective, about his boss or the company he works for?
For a few reasons:
- Because it won’t change anything. If he was to stay with the company, then maybe discussing his issues and perceptions of the problems may be worthwhile.
- Having turned in his resignation already, his negative comments would have fallen on deaf ears, or been construed as a bitter ex-employee.
- Never burn a bridge. Leaving with positive conversations and gratitude for the experience leaves a positive impression about yourself with others. You never know when paths will cross again between you and anyone else at this company.
“Whether you believe it or not, the future holds opportunities with people from your past. Lets hope they still trust & respect you.” ~ @NCWiseman
This is hard for some people to do, but worth far more than slamming everyone as you slam the door behind you.