On a bad day at work, people often fantasize about what they would say or do on their last day; one final act of defiance or mischief to make it clear to a business or an individual how much they have hated working there. In reality, most people’s decency or professionalism overrides those urges to make a scene and they do little more than help themselves to a pack of Post-its. There are, however, some spectacular examples of people quitting their jobs with a final flourish.
Method 1: Publish an article in the New York Times
Greg Smith resigned from his job as an executive director with Goldman Sachs in March 2012, using his column in the New York Times to explain his reasons. In his opinion piece ‘Why I am Leaving Goldman Sachs’ he launched a scathing attack on the company culture at the time saying “I knew it was time to leave when I realized I could no longer look students in the eye and tell them what a great place it was to work”
Method 2: Broadcast your resignation on an international TV station
If you disagree with how your boss runs things then spare a thought for TV news anchor Liz Wahl. Her station, RT, is a global news channel funded by the Russian State; that’s right, the man at the very top of the organisation is Russian president Vladimir Putin. As Russian intervention in Crimea drew international criticism, Wahl outlined live on air a number of personal and ethical reasons to explain why she was resigning from her job.
Method 3: Hire a male-voice choir.
Quitting your job doesn’t have to be messy or angry, sometimes people just move on to something fresh, new and rewarding. In December 2012, Barista Phil Sipka added a musical note to his resignation as he headed off to set up his own coffee shop.
(By the way, it took some time but Phil managed it and set up a not-for-profit neighbourhood coffee house: Kusanya Cafe in Chicago.)
So are you feeling inspired?
While the manner of these resignations can be amusing, burning bridges and being unprofessional will rarely help you in the long run. What we can take from these examples is the message that all of these people found their work unsatisfying and felt that continuing in their roles did not represent a long-term option. Finding a job that you love is an important target: take time to consider what improvements you can make in your current role or what other roles might be more rewarding to you. And if you need a little more guidance, the talk below is a great place to start: