—Sheryl Spanier, a career management consultant, on leaving a job gracefully
Be sure to check out our video "Parting shots: Allison Walker's goodbye email":
Contributor's Notes: Tips for making an elegant exit from your job from Sheryl Spanier
•The last thing you say and do is the first thing others will remember.
•Preserve your reputation and relationships with grace and gravitas.
•Keep the emotion out of your communications. Vent, if you must, privately and only to loved ones.
•Engender respect: Behave in exiting the way you behave in excelling at work — with dignity and self worth.
•Leaving gracefully requires courage and consideration for others' feelings. Remember, they are suffering a loss, too.
•Make your exit statement simple, short and strategic. Speak positively about your accomplishments and experience, state simply the business facts of your departure (downsizing, cutbacks, position elimination, change of direction/management). Say you are putting some thoughts/plans together about next career steps. Create opportunities for future follow up.
•Create a “Reason for Leaving" statement that your organization will support so that what you say and they say are consistent.
•Communicate your departure (and contact information).
Want to read Allison Walker's good bye email? Click here.
A "Goodbye, Job!" Email from Allison Walker
How would you have written Allison's goodbye email differently? Add your notes in the comments...
After I start by apologizing for not having contacted you all personally, I wanted to offer up an additional apology to Reverend Pickett, who is I think the only person I know and love who might be offended if I accidentally slip into profanity during the course of writing this note. I don't intend to, but if I forget and it happens accidentally, I'm so sorry.
F***ing Bernie Madoff (and other evil, greedy ***holes like him destroying our economy) has caused the ACLU to scale back and eliminate 36 positions. I, Allison Walker, have been eliminated. Many, or at least some (ok, maybe, many) of you have heard me mutter from time to time that this, Entertainment Industry Liaison for the ACLU, was a thankless job. I'm writing now to you all to say that is not true. If you have received this email it is because I am genuinely thankful for having had the opportunity to know you, learn from you, work with you, hug a few of you and so on. You collectively lifted me out of a shallow existence of Page Six and red carpets to a more humbling, life-changing professional and personal path. I can honestly say I'm most likely in the top 1% of all entertainment industry professionals with knowledge of Guantanamo Bay. I have met some of the most extraordinary human beings these last 3+ years and I hope to cross paths with all of you again really soon. (If you did not receive this email from me and someone forwarded it to you, you are either one of the 5 people I'm mortified that I didn't include or one of the thankless and…enough said, let's both move on.)
Shifting gears for a minute... In December I did a day long yoga retreat, billed as a "Personal Revolution". The yogi who led it said that students have revelations at different points either during or after the session. About 90% of the way in, a heated discussion began between a student (not me I swear) and said yogi master that ended with the yogi saying "Who you are on the mat is who you are in life." And there, my friends, (said not at all like John McCain) is where I had my revelation. The person I am on the mat is not who I am in life…but it is who I aspire to be. And I'm grateful now to have the opportunity and the time to become that person. Ommmmm...
Outside of my unfortunate professional turn of events (and a handful of others which I'll save for a future email or drink) a few other (less philosophical) things of late have reminded me to be grateful… I have moved back to the West Village, to an apartment in the very building on Horatio Street that I've dreamed about for 6 or 7 years...I'm back in the delivery range of several of my favorite eateries...I am within close walking distance to the vet, my orange ribbons shut down Guantanamo and most of all, Richard Jenkins was nominated for an Academy Award for "The Visitor"...Can't top that.
So, please keep me in mind when and if you hear of professional opportunities, either full time or on a project or consultant basis. I'll forward on my resume soon to those of you who have been nice enough to offer assistance (and those of you who would offer if you knew or if you had gotten around to it) and will also notify you when my professional profile has been updated on LinkedIn. I'm also open to lunch, dinner, drinks, movies, personal donations...I'll be busy writing, infiltrating film festivals, reading the trades, reading Page Six again, doing yoga, salivating over things I can no longer afford to cook from Whole Foods and then cooking ****** from D'Agostino...and generally, becoming that person from the mat.