50 Ways to Leave Your Employer

Recently Chicago Tonight lost a couple of young staffers to great, new career opportunities.  They were wonderful colleagues and, while very sorry to see them go, I am happy they are doing what all young people should do — explore new paths and learn more about themselves.  Each left graciously; there were teary eyes, good-bye celebrations, and everybody’s sincere wishes for their success.

But when someone leaves a job, I can’t help but think of my favorite passage in literature on the subject.  It comes from Of Human Bondage by Somerset Maugham.  Philip, the protagonist, has been miserable working as a clerk.  When he decides to leave, he has the following exchange with his immediate supervisor, Mr. Goodworthy:

“For ten months I’ve loathed it all.  I’ve loathed the work, I’ve loathed the office, I loathe London.  I’d rather sweep a crossing then spend my days here.”

“Well I must say, I don’t think you’re very fitted for accountancy.”

“Good-bye,” said Philip, holding out his hand.  “I want to thank you for your kindness to me.  I’m sorry if I’ve been troublesome.  I knew almost from the beginning I was no good.”

“Well, if you really do make up your mind it is good-bye.  I don’t know what you’re going to do, but if you’re in the neighbourhood at any time come in and see us.”

Philip gave a little laugh.

“I’m afraid it sounds very rude, but I hope from the bottom of my heart that I shall never set eyes on any of you again.”

How’s that for going out with candor?  No need for an exit interview, I would say!

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  • Viviana B.

    Very nice!! I’ll be asking you for some tips when I decide to leave my current job. Out of my 4 major jobs I’ve had, only one I had the priviledge of leaving on my own terms and when I told the supervisor, he went into a state of shock. After he snapped out of it, he told me he was surprised with my decision and gave me the good luck speech. Viviana 🙂