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Always leave in style

Published: 
Saturday, April 20, 2013

In a move that caught the attention of the Huffington Post, Fox news and the BBC, a British man quit his job last week by presenting his bosses with a 10-by-12-inch cake piped with iced lettering detailing the reason for his resignation.

 

Last Monday, 31-year-old immigration officer Chris Holmes of Cambridgeshire, England penned his sweet resignation letter on a spiced carrot cake and delivered it to his bosses at Stansted Airport. 

 

On it, he explained that it was his 31st birthday and since the recent birth of his son, he recognised the importance of doing things that made him happy. The frosted lettering went on to explain that he decided to give notice of his resignation and “devote my time and energy to my family and to my cake business which has grown steadily over the years.” A photo of the cake, tweeted by Holmes’ brother-in-law, soon went viral.

 

He later told The Guardian UK newspaper that over the last two or three years he had been establishing his own baking business and was known by clients as Mr Cake.

 

At the end of his ever-so-polite letter, Holmes even took the opportunity to promote his new business saying: “I wish the organisation and my colleagues the best for the future and I remind you that, if you should like this cake, you can order more at www.mrcake.co.uk.” Officials at Stansted Airport said the cake was delicious and offered Holmes best wishes on his new venture.

 

But how important is it to leave a workplace on good terms with your former employers as Holmes did?

 

Yesterday T&T Guardian spoke with certified life coach Janice Learmond-Criqui who said employees needed to recognise the importance of “resignation etiquette” since the manner in which a person leaves a job can directly affect job opportunities in the future.

 

She said people quit their jobs in search of a more meaningful or challenging one, to gain a greater sense of autonomy or in the hope of finding a job allows them to better make use of their skills. Other reasons included concern over an organisation’s financial stability as well as issues with employers. 

 

Criqui said people should notify a supervisor or boss before telling co-workers that they have decided to quit. She said this would prevent the awkward situation in which the employer learns of a planned resignation “through the grapevine”. 

 

She added that a resignation letter remains the safest and most “proper” way to quit a job. She added: “You may need a reference from the employer in the future, so you should take the time to write a professional resignation letter.” Criqui also advised that before quitting, workers should ensure that they have another secure job lined up. She did not criticise Holmes’ decision to make mention of his new job in his resignation letter.

 

A resignation letter, she said, should be concise and should not contain excess information. 

 

Criqui said it was inadvisable to make negative comments about a job or an employer on social networking sites.

 

“People have to remember that when they make negative comments on social media networks and broadcast their plans to quit that it is open for the world to read and any recruitment agency seeing this will be very cautious in hiring someone who posts comments about their job.”

 

Some memorable resignations

 

2010: In January 2010, American television host Conan O’Brien issued a press release signaling his departure from NBC’s The Tonight Show after just seven months as the programme’s host. His decision to resign came after NBC’s announcement to move the programme’s time slot from 11.35 pm to 12.05 am, an idea which O’Brien firmly rejected.

 

2011: After three years of working at the Providence Rhode Island Hotel, 23-year-old Joey DeFrancesco presented his boss with a resignation letter before parading out of the hotel accompanied by a 19-piece marching band. The video of DeFrancesco’s fanfare resignation got over three million views on Youtube.

 

2012: Program manager Karen Cheng recorded a video of her singing a song entitled Bye, Bye Excel and I in which she bid farewell to her bosses and employees at Microsoft where she had worked for three years. The video features Cheng sitting with an acoustic guitar strumming to the tune of Don McLean’s Bye, Bye American Pie.

 

2013: In February of this year, Pope Benedict XVI stunned the world when he announced his decision to retire from office as leader as the Catholic Church. He explained that he no longer had the mental and physical strength to continue. It had been 600 years since a pope resigned.