Leaving With Class

4 years ago by in Action Not Words, Featured Articles, Leadership Tagged: , , ,

BBzcLvlCEAAJqxXA few weeks ago, my friend and colleague Todd Defren, wrote a post for AOL that seemed to stoke a lot of fires amongst the millennial workforce. Todd dares to tell the truth about how he feels when people quit his agency, SHIFT Communications. What the world needs are more people like Todd who are willing to share how they feel and how they manage people in their employ. We’ve all become so passive and politically correct, the pink elephants in the room keep multiplying.

That brings me to the past week where I too lost an employee to a new opportunity. Jenna Bromberg, who has been central to our successful and award winning content strategy at H&R Block, left for a great opportunity with Yum Brands – in particular, Pizza Hut. Jenna had a background in the hospitality industry (I stole her from Houlihan’s) and wanted to get back to her passion.

Although it hurts in the near term, Jenna was leaving for a great opportunity and following her passion. As her supervisor the past two years, I am proud she’s moving on. Not only did she do amazing work for me, but any leader should be happy when their people move to a great job – whether that’s internally or externally with someone else. Although I get paid for my functional knowledge and to lead a team, I pride myself on developing others. It’s what I love about management.

Back to Todd’s post and it’s point – there are proper ways to quit and there are bad ways to quit. I was again fortunate here as Jenna quit well. How did she quit well and why should you pay attention? Here’s what she did and why it made me a bigger fan:

  1. Two weeks notice. Jenna, knowing she was an integral part of our team, gave me sufficient notice and worked hard to wrap up all loose ends before she left. I know companies can lay you off with no warning, but if the environment is a good one and healthy, you owe it to your employer to give sufficient time based on your level and role.
  2. Organized the work. I was blown away at how well Jenna was able to organize her work – including her open and uncompleted projects. Since the rest of the team will fill in until we hire her replacement, this was a key move that not only earned my appreciation, but also those of her teammates. While you want to have a good recommendation from your “former” boss, you also want to leave your team feeling good about you. You never know where you’ll run into someone.
  3. Wrote a letter to her successor. Wow. You talk about a smart move. By writing an open and honest letter to her successor, Jenna showed a level of maturity not often found these days. Not only that, she’s given that next person a huge jump start and background on how we got where we are. This showed Jenna hasn’t forgotten her hard work and cares what happens next. That’s a level of commitment that’s admirable. I am sure that person is going to feel awesome when they read that letter.
  4. Left her job working hard. What can you say? Jenna worked hard up until her last day. She didn’t slack off at the end. She worked as if she would have been in the next day. She finished strong. That speaks for itself.

Clearly, these show the growth and maturity of a true professional. That’s why she’s on to manage her own team for one of the world’s biggest brands. Second, it serves as an example to everyone who may consider that next role. How you leave your job sometimes is as important as the job you did when you were there. That may seem unbalanced but just a you want to make a good first impression, you also want to leave a good lasting impression on your way out.

Thank you for your contribution the past two years Ms. Bromberg. Thanks for your presence here and thanks for leaving us in better shape than when you walked in the door.

God speed you wacky Canadian!



Scott Gulbransen

Scott is Global Head of Digital Content at Haymon Boxing - the world's premier boxing management firm. He's the former Vice President of Digital Marketing at DSI, and ran social media and PR at brands like Applebee's, and Intuit's TurboTax. He's a regular contributor for Social Media Today, SpinSucks.com, Forbes.com, Technorati.com and in 2011 ranked #21 in the list of “Top 50 Daddy Bloggers” in the USA by Cision. His award-winning social marketing campaigns are known for their engaging content, humor and real results.

One Response to “Leaving With Class”

Very classy, Scott.

I’ve not had the opportunity to work with Jenna, but her reputation is consistent with your resounding endorsement. She’s going to continue to do great things, I’m sure.

As a former hiring manager, I agree with everything you wrote about the importance of a smooth exit.


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