As Johnny Paycheck sang in the 1980s, “Take This Job and Shove It.” Quitting. But if you do it, you should do it right. Or you may regret it. A few weeks ago Anchorage reporter Charlene Ebge confessed her ownership of the Alaska Cannabis Club live on the air before making the announcement – live on the air – that she was quitting her job. “And, as for this job, well, not that I have a choice, but fxxx it, I quit,” she said at the conclusion of her story about Alaska’s upcoming marijuana ballot measure that would regulate marijuana sales. The video of her job exit took its place alongside the video of the JetBlue flight attendant who similarly made a dramatic job exit.
Not surprisingly, most employment experts advise against this type of overblown job exit. “I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to say that most people will look back in a few years and say, ‘Wow, why did I do that?’” says Chris Brown, a managing partner with Dallas-based RJ Byrd’s Search Consultants. If you’re thinking of leaving your job, Brown advices clients to adopt a less-is-more attitude no matter one’s negative view of the place you’re leaving. “I’d say basically the best practice is to say, ‘Thank you for your time and the opportunity,’ and say that you’ve made the decision to move on and think that will be the best for both you and your family,” he says. Several years ago, one might have been able to get away with a dramatic, Johnny Paycheck-style exit. But social media has made that even more difficult, Brown says. Both Ebge and the Jetblue exit videos quickly became top YouTube picks just hours after they were first broadcast. “Social media has changed things,” says Brown. “You think about some of the things kids put on social media and within seconds it’s gone viral and it’s too late. It’s out there and it’s global. How do you take that back?” Aside from social media, the interconnected world means you have to think about the future. “Pretend everyone is watching you and you’re giving a training session for every HR (human resources) person in the entire world for the rest of your professional career, because they are going to have access to that,” he says. “That’s how connected we are now. This stuff is probably not going away.” Those hilarious videos of someone ending their employment may be amusing or work well in an Adam Sandler movie, but in real life?
Quite simply, Brown says, “The world is way too small to burn any bridges anymore. It’s too small to drop a grenade anymore.” If you have given the ultimate one-finger salute to your job and need to rebuild that career, Brown says now may be the best time to get out there with a seasonal job in retail. Macy’s has announced they plan to hire 86,000 seasonal employees for the end of the year and Grapevine-based GameStop Corp. said it plans to hire about 25,000 employees to fulfill Santa’s promises and fill those stockings with video games. “If you’re in-between careers or have been looking for that perfect opportunity to get out of the house and in front of individuals who might lead to a long-term job, this is a great opportunity,” says Brown. “These seasonal positions may lead to a full-time role with those organizations. Or maybe you meet someone who will be instrumental to getting you a job later on.” It’s almost a no lose situation, Brown says.
“Consider it basically as being paid for a networking opportunity and, if nothing else, you can practice your customer service skills. You don’t know who your customer might turn out to be,” he says. “How many times have you heard about someone being nice to someone and that leads to something extraordinary? It’s a perfect opportunity.”
Odds and Ends • Kudos to BusinessWoman.com (www.businesswomanmedia.com) for its headline for the star-studded, celebrity marriage of George Clooney: Internationally acclaimed barrister Amal Alamuddin marries an actor. Good work on the lead too: Amal Alamuddin, a London-based dual-qualified English barrister and New York litigation attorney who has long been a high-profile figure in international refugee and human rights law, has gone against the trend for professional women in her field and married… an actor.