Did you find those 11 minutes long? Those who are up-to-date with Twitter news, and specifically those who follow Donald Trump (for the record I don’t) will know what I’m talking about. Last week, Donald Trump’s Twitter account was deleted and it wasn’t a “technical” glitch”.
As announced by Twitter, Trump’s account was deleted by an employee on his last day of work. Think about that. The person representing the most powerful office in the world was silenced by one unnamed temporary employee. Some may see this as a positive move. However, from a career perspective it probably wasn’t the wisest move.
I was thinking about a conversation I had with a client who was about to resign. We had been discussing how to approach this in a responsible and wise manner.
You may remember the story about the JetBlue flight attendant Steve Slater. While his plane was sitting at the gate, he grabbed a beer, told his employer and his passengers, “That’s it, I’m done,” pulled the emergency exit door and surfed down the slide. In a matter of seconds he had started a brand new chapter in his life.
His story went viral since it involved all the right elements: drama, humor and the deeply relatable topic of dissatisfaction. It’s no surprise that his story resonated so well with people since 58% of professionals are dissatisfied with their career and want out.
“Pulling a Slater,” has become the modern example of “take this job and shove it.” Steve had his 15 minutes of fame, including an appearance on Good Morning America and interviews with all the major news outlets. Steve’s willingness and courage to deal with his deep dissatisfaction inspired our client to proactively deal with his situation.
While I wouldn’t recommend quitting the employees in these stories did, I think it influenced many others to be more rational in their approach. In our client’s case, he cooperated with his organization and created a strategic exit plan which allowed him to walk out the door with his head held high, strong relationships and a great reference.
There are ways to finish well and then there are ways to finish not so well. Steven Slater and Trump’s former Twitter employee finished their last days of employment in less than professional ways. While many think what they did was inspirational, their actions will unfortunately follow them. Google will never be far behind them echoing their irrational decisions especially considering the scope of their stories.
Leaving your employer well is fundamental to your career even if they are not the best employer and you feel justified in your actions. It’s always best to leave on a professional note; you never know where your former boss or colleagues will end up.
On that note you may be wondering how Steven Slaters reflects back on his actions. “It’s a ‘before’ and ‘after’. My life was completely transformed, for better or for worse, after that date. I mean, it wasn’t the smartest thing I’ve ever done, but it sure felt great … it just hit like a crescendo of frustration.”
Along the road with you!
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