Greg Smith, now a former Goldman Sachs executive director, made a very public resignation in the New York Times that raises the question: Is there a right and wrong way to resign from a position?
We can all probably agree that with a few minor changes to the text, this letter could be used by many employees engaged in ethical activities for companies who appear to have a clear mission, yet practice unconscionable methods.
But, once you make up your mind to leave an organization, the first question is when and how you will leave. If you’re in the middle of your own Greg Smith situation, you need to move on as soon as possible and do it in a less public manner than Mr. Smith. Your ethics are important and personal to you and only you. Quitting means you have chosen the option best for you but should not include blasting your employer. You have to suppress valid concerns but ultimately achieve the goal…resignation from a job by just using a generic resignation that simply states you are resigning from Company XYZ and what will be your last day of employment. Explanation of the reason for resignation need not be explained, but you can close the letter by expression for the appreciation of the opportunities the role has provided you.
When addressing if this voluntary public resignation helps or hinders Smith, one must first understand where Smith is personally and financially. Some of us are willing to stand up to the conflicting morals and values even in the face of economic hardship. Albeit Greg Smith will also have to face possible moral attacks by Goldman Sachs, he also faces being shunned by his colleagues and personal friends.
The fallout for Goldman Sachs could be in several forms. For example, they are now subject to loss of goodwill in the financial community, and unyielding attempts by regulators and criminal authorities seeking validation to the accusations, either voluntary or through compulsory subpoenas. In either case, both parties will face a grueling road ahead.
Resignation © Some rights reserved by timsnell on Flickr
Did you enjoy this article?
Please let the author know by leaving them a comment below!
And, subscribe to our free weekly digest!
Simply add your email below. A confirmation email will be sent to you.