Ripa’ed From The Headlines: The Wrong Way to Give Notice You’re Leaving a Job.
Let me begin by saying I am a HUGE Michael Strahan fan. The NFL should parade this guy around as their best counterargument to the prevalence of CTE in retired players. He’s wickedly smart, quick on his feet, charming as Hell and, that space between his front two teeth, well, wouldn’t every celeb love a distinguishing characteristic like that?
But Michael, say it ain’t so! You carved out a brilliant career with the New York Giants by blindsiding opposing quarterbacks. But somebody should have told you that you don’t do that to your TV co-host no matter what your agent tells you. You had business telling Kelly Ripa that you were leaving for the greener (and I do mean GREENER $$$) pastures of Good Morning America more than 30 minutes before it became public. For Ripa, this must have been departure deja vu, given how former co-host Regis Philbin dropped the bomb back in 2011 that he was leaving the show 20 minutes before they had to be all smiles for the audience. We all know these are professional entertainers who are skilled at turning it on for the cameras no matter how they’re feeling, but that’s asking a bit much.
For her part, Ripa seemed to follow my father’s sage advice about how you communicate with others at work when you’re hurt, angry, disappointed or all of the above: sleep on it and if you still want to say something the next day after you’ve cooled off, then go for it. What does it say about the degree of her devastation that she decided to sleep on it for six nights before returning to the set?
The Strahan kerfuffle is just the latest reminder of why it’s so important to leave a job gracefully. First, it’s simply what you do. Demonstrating basic decency and consideration for the feelings of others are key building blocks of your professional reputation. Leaving in a huff or “quitting like a waitress” (taking off your apron and throwing it in your boss’ face before marching out the door) is the kind of juicy news that seems to make its way to every corner of your industry. Good luck getting that reference that you may need down the road.
Secondly, as a producer at CBS News once told me when I was starting out in TV, “you always meet people twice in this business, once on the way up and once on the way down.” How you conduct yourself during your ascension many times determines how bumpy the road is on the backside of the mountain. Will people remember you as a mensch who took the time to mentor and promote others or will that scouting report read: not a great team player – pretty much in it only for himself/herself. If it’s the latter, don’t count on anyone being quick to throw you a lifeline should you need one.
The menschy thing for Strahan to have done would have been to approach Ripa before any pen was put to contract and say, “I wanted to show you the professional courtesy of telling you something I’m planning on doing before I officially do it, even though I’ve been told to keep this to myself.” For we non-celebrities, the equivalent is giving your soon-to-be-old boss sufficient notice that you’re going to leave. No matter how badly you’re looking to bolt, a hasty departure can make your colleague’s work lives miserable and it also sends a loud message to your future employer. That message is, if this person skipped out prematurely on them, he/she could just as easily do that to us.
When you’re leaving an old job for clearly a much better one, it’s also vital that you make the people whom you’re “leaving behind” feel valued. Face it, in an instant they are now looking for the smallest signs that you now consider yourself superior to them. Therefore, express how difficult it will be leaving such a great team that was so responsible for your professional development. Underscore how many things about the old place you’re going to miss, and that while you’re excited for the new challenge, you feel somewhat conflicted leaving.
Once Strahan becomes a permanent fixture on GMA, this dust up will likely be forgotten. For many, it’s already much ado about nothing. But for the rest of us, it does provide a little primer on how kindness, courtesy, humility and open communication on your way out the door are crucial to forming your professional reputation.
Originally posted on Linked IN by: Bill McGowan
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