May 30, 2017

4 Tips From An Employment Lawyer On How To Quit Your Job

4 Tips From An Employment Lawyer On How To Quit Your Job


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To get away from thoughts of the dumpster fire that is our current government, I am watching tennis (gearing up to the French Open) and the NBA, waiting for the real playoffs to start. I know I’m not the only one. But I’m an employment attorney, and I can’t help but find examples of the good and the bad in the sports drama in both sports. I’ll focus on the NBA for now.

I’m from the great state of Ohio, so we witnessed “The Decision,” and then the quiet aftermath of The Decision, in the return of LeBron James. No one criticized him for returning, but Kevin Durant received a lot of negative press for his own decision last year. Right now he’s on a team that appears to be the most dominant playoff machine ever, so I am not sure he made the wrong choice. LeBron James was right to return home. But if Oklahoma’s behavior pre-departure was anything, it was the writing on the wall.

The plights of James and Durant got me to thinking about what happens when employees decide to take their talents to a new locale. I’ve heard many stories about how messy a breakup is for some-high performing employees. I’ve heard how employees will leave and bad mouth their job so much on the way out, they lose their new job. It’s always a small world in a specific industry.

If you want to avoid being the type of employer that star employees flee like the plague, or you want to be an employee who would be welcomed back with open arms, I have a few suggestions for you, taken from my sports observations and real-life employee stories:

1. No matter what happens, don’t bad mouth anyone. I have seen this issue go both ways: I’ve seen an employee find an exit quickly when she found out an employer was blocking her growth, and I’ve seen an employee lose a job opportunity because of things he said on his way out the door. Even if you think your boss is Satan, and your prior employer is the most unethical company in existence, keep that to yourself. Every time fans burn a player’s jersey and film it, another star free agent crosses their team off the list. If you want a team of mediocre players, don’t be classy. But if you want to be a star employee in an opportunity where you can flourish, if you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all.

2. No matter what happens, if you are good enough you can always come back. But you have to be really really good. By all means, never burn a bridge if you can help it. But remember that if you are truly good at what you do, a rainmaking lawyer, a star basketball player who made a public spectacle about your decision to leave, the best company in your industry, you can always come home, and star employees will always come back.

3. If you leave a good place, go to a better place to work with people you like. If rumor is to be believed, Kevin Durant left Oklahoma City because he wanted to play with his friends, his real friends. And he wanted to win. And right now he is winning. Working with a friend in a good environment is a wonderful reason to leave your current place, and go to a new place, assuming the new place is a better place. If you want to be a professional, you should behave like a professional. But if you want to be happy and a professional, you need to legitimately like at least a few of the people you work with. And if you want to be at the top of your game, there is no better place to go than the best place for what you do.

4. Go where you are wanted. When you are good, everyone seems to want you. But not necessarily for the right reason. Pick a place where you fit in, and where they want you for who you are, not a warm body or not a specific skill set. I had to learn this one the hard way. An employer should be slow to hire, quick to fire. So if you are rushed into the door, that is probably a bad sign. It should take some time to negotiate, and your draw shouldn’t be the same thing that would draw you anywhere else. For example, maybe it’s an opportunity to return to your hometown and undo a image-damaging decision. Or it’s an opportunity to work with people you like, people who are good at what they do and who can make you better.

Sometimes sports are more than a diversion from real life. The drama of sports, millionaires working for billionaires, can provide great examples for work and life. If you are thinking of taking your talents to a new company, or worried that a top talent you nurtured will jump ship, remember to keep it professional, despite the terms or reasons for the departure. At the end of the day, our job is an important piece, but only a piece, of who we are. It should be a reflection of the best of us, and what is good for us. Sometimes those two things are in conflict. If that happens to you, make the choice that Durant made.

Beth Robinson lives in Denver and is a business law attorney and employment law guru. She practices at Fortis Law Partners. You can reach her at employmentlawgurubr@gmail.com and follow her on Twitter at @HLSinDenver.

Original source: http://abovethelaw.com/2017/05/4-tips-from-an-employment-lawyer-on-how-to-quit-your-job/

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