Reputation, Recommendations and Your Career

Your future success will be influenced by the  reputation and recommendations you establish throughout your career and how you choose to quit your job may or may not have an impact. It is very likely that the following individuals would have benefited if they had opted for a professional conversation with a senior company official followed by a formal letter of resignation, however this was not the case. A recent post on The Chive, “Girl quits job on dry erase board, emails entire office“, has generated interest in a young woman who went public to quit her job and expose her boss. She said her boss, Spencer was called, “a garbage di Spencer” when referring to the trash and she displayed a totally inappropriate comment that he is alleged to have made during a phone call. This has caught the interest of a huge, supportive following of cheer leaders and well wishers. I won’t disagree that her boss probably got what he deserved but I can’t help thinking, as an employer would I really want to hire this girl? As a business owner or HR professional, would I feel assured that she would react in the best interest of the company at all times utilizing diplomacy, discretion and good judgement?

Another highly publicized incident this week was a flight attendant’s departure from his job upon arrival at Kennedy Airport. Reports allege Slater, a 28 year veteran argued with a passenger, used the public address system to swear at passengers and then pulled the emergency shoot to exit the plane with a beer in his hand! Don Sutton, CB Online provides an account and some good advice in, When to use the emergency chute: a flight attendant’s last flight , saying, “…take a deep breath and remember flight attendant Slater — once you really slide down that emergency chute, you can never crawl back up.”

Obviously a formal letter of resignation was not contemplated by either of these employees and despite their radical and unprofessional behaviour, both are attracting a huge following of supporters. Is it possible that so many people are that unhappy in their careers that they are actually envious of these two individuals quitting their jobs?  Or is it just the fact that many are empathetic to those who have reached the “the final straw” and “lost it” at work?

Quitting your job with a vengeance, whether it is swearing at disrespectful customers or the public humiliation of your boss is not in your best interest if you have any desire to advance in your career. Your reputation is damaged and the opportunity to acquire glowing recommendations from your boss or the company is forever lost. Remember, it is “just a job” and you do have the choice to leave it and maintain a professional reputation and gain recommendations that will support your career advancement long into your future. Remember that teacher in grade eight that you detested? He isn’t there anymore and no one even remembers his name but what does remain is the name of the school you attended and the grade you received.

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