Enter graciously, exit respectfully
BUSINESS MATTERS BEYOND THE BOTTOM LINE - Francis J. Kong (The Philippine Star) - January 13, 2019 - 12:00am

I have received different kinds of resignation letters. They come in many forms. I have worked with manufacturing, then I ventured into retail. Today, as I do consultancy work, I realized that a lot of people never understood the importance of entering employment graciously and leaving it in such manner as well.

During my younger days, I verbally informed my boss about my plans to leave. I left them ample time to look for a replacement, trained their replacement and made myself available to them in case they need to ask me questions. All these were done in the spirit of friendliness, respect and graciousness. The punchline? I was moving to join a startup company that would be competing against my former place of employment.

There would be times when my former bosses and I would cross paths. Oftentimes, during launching of new shopping malls. At other times, it would be in other social functions.  We were not just civil and cordial – we were friendly with each other. As the new company formed and began to build fame and success, I would visit my former bosses for a chat or two. Upon seeing me, they would welcome me and have someone bring in tea or coffee and we would have a little talk. Sometimes, we talk about business in particular. Most often times, we just talk about any subject under the sun. They will say, “Hey Francis, your brand is doing very well…”, “Hey Francis, your brand has beaten us in many stores. So, if you were in our place, what is it we need to do to improve?” I would give them some helpful tips, but of course, I would never reveal crucial information regarding our company’s moves and strategies.

Way before all these business gurus churned out books and talked about “coo-petition”, I have always believed that the market is so huge that the pie can be expanded, and we can all enjoy a big slice of the pie. Now, here’s the thing: The owners of the business were comfortable, but it’s usually their middle line executives who (have nothing to do and are not aware of what we were discussing) would build intrigues, sow discord and talk negatively against myself and try to destroy our friendship. The good thing is that the owners were sharp and mature and could not be easily influenced. The owners talk to me and talk about me with respect and it gladdens my heart. The principle is clear, I was accepted by their company graciously and I have to leave their company respectfully. It is the decent thing to do.

It’s very interesting that Harvard Business Review came up with a very interesting material entitled “Don’t Leave a Job You Love Without Saying Goodbye” as adapted from “How to Leave a Job You Love” authored by Gianpiero Petriglieri.

“Even when you love a job, sometimes you recognize that it’s time to move on.

Whatever your reason for leaving, don’t give your two weeks’ notice and rush out the door. Take the time to say goodbye to the people and spaces that have been important to you. When you do a certain task, attend the all-hands meeting, or even look out your favorite window for the last time, stop for a moment and acknowledge it. Be sure to have a proper farewell with the coworkers you value most. Remember that you aren’t saying goodbye forever; those connections will                 continue, and can even develop in new ways. Of course, it’s OK to be sad about               what you’re losing, even as you celebrate what’s coming next. Feeling sad might make you wonder if you are making a mistake. But maybe it just means that, for a period of time, you were lucky enough to have a job you really enjoyed.”

End of the article.

Most people don’t get it. They turn emotional, rude, and brash just because they are moving to another work place. I had one person write me a resignation letter stating: “This is to inform you that today will be my last day of stay with the company…” And then, she’s gone. Others do worse; they get the data base, client list, vendors and all sorts of essential company resources to use as their bargaining chip with competitive employment or to come up with a business for themselves. And upon doing so, guess what their next logical tactic would be? Yes, you guessed it right. They start bad-mouthing their previous employers to justify the reason for doing. This is never a good thing. It’s childish, immature, and it reflects the entrepreneurial ignorance of the person with the fact that the industry is too small and paths would cross one day. And no matter how bad one can talk against their previous employers, the moment they come up with a competitive one, no matter what they say, their motives would stay suspect.

I get to run into people like them every now and then. I can look at them in the eye but they tend to avoid me like I have the plague.

Enter graciously and should you exit, do it respectfully. Your former bosses may not have the occasion to buy you tea or coffee one day, but at least you can rest assured that they will still respect you for being a true…what’s that word again?” “PROFESSIONAL.”

(Mark your calendars on Jan. 25, 2019 for the much-awaited event “Power Up for Peak Performance”! It will be happening at the Samsung Hall, SM Aura, BGC. This whole-day event featuring a power-packed cast of fantastic speakers will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For further inquiries or advanced reservations, contact April at +63928-559-1798 or register online at www.powerup.ph)

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