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I quit! Five unusual ways to resign

Posted on 28/09/2016 by Sophie Butler

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Sometimes when a job doesn’t work out, a traditional resignation letter just doesn’t make a dramatic enough exit or let you express how you really feel. Here are five of the most bizarre ways people have handed in their notice.

TPP would never recommend following any of these examples, especially when you want to stay working in the same sector. To find out how you should actually resign, see the end of the article.

1. Use your technical skills

Some employees use their technical skills to make a memorable exit – this is particularly effective if underappreciation for those skills is why you’re leaving in the first place.

Jarrad Woods, a computer programmer based in Australia created his own version of Super Mario, created a short Flash game to hand in his notice. And then sent it to the entire office…

You can play the game here

Possibly apocryphal, this Mac alert was apparently found on a computer left behind by a disgruntled employee.

2. Say it with cake

For some reason, making a special resignation cake seems to be one of the most popular unusual ways to quite your job. Maybe the cake is designed to soften the blow of your departure?

Chris Holmes, who worked at Stansted Airport, made a spectacularly-iced cake to resign from his job and pursue his dream to run a bakery business.

A desktop resignation cake worthy of Bake Off.

Why stick to one cake when you can hand in your resignation in the form of cupcakes?

3. Channel your creativity

Is your creativity stifled in your current role? Why not use the mediums of song or dance to break up with your employer.

Karen Chang decided to perform a song as her ‘letter’ of resignation from Microsoft’s Excel team.

While Marina Shifrin, an American Animator, decided to film her own song and dance resignation video at the Taiwanese animation studio she was then working for – at 4am.

4. Get some back up

Nervous about handing in your notice? Why not get some friends to come and back you up with a musical send-off?

Joey DeFrancesco, a hotel worker in the USA, enlisted his brass band What Cheer? to help him hand in his resignation.

This ex-insurance worker hired a Mariachi band to give his resignation a musical accompaniment… while dressed as a banana.

5. Fire yourself

Finally, as an alternative to handing in your notice, why not follow this example and fire yourself from your organisation?

Before becoming a full-time author, Sherwood Anderson wrote copy for Chicago-based agency Taylor Critchfield Co. In 1918, he was finally able to quit the day job and to devote himself entirely to his passion, at which point he penned the following letter to his boss, Bayard Barton.

June 25, 1918

Dear Barton:

You have a man in your employ that I have thought for a long time should be fired. I refer to Sherwood Anderson. He is a fellow of a good deal of ability, but for a long time I have been convinced that his heart is not in his work.

There is no question but that this man Anderson has in some ways been an ornament to our organization. His hair, for one thing being long and mussy gives an artistic carelessness to his personal appearance that somewhat impresses such men as Frank Lloyd Wright and Mr. Curtenius of Kalamazoo when they come into the office.

But Anderson is not really productive. As I have said his heart is not in his work. I think he should be fired and if you will not do the job I should like permission to fire him myself. I therefore suggest that Anderson be asked to sever his connections with the Company on August 1st. He is a nice fellow. We will let him down easy but let’s can him.

Respectfully submitted,

Sherwood Anderson

Here’s how you should do it

Here are TPP’s tips for resigning without burning your bridges:

  1. Wait until you have your new job offer in writing before you hand in your notice, as it’s always possible your new employer may change their mind.
  2. You’ll need to agree a start date that allows you to cover your notice period. Check your contract to find out what this is – if none is specified, there’s a statutory notice period of one week's notice after one month's service.
  3. Keep your resignation letter short and to the point, just stating that you’re leaving and when. Don’t include your reasons for leaving, but it is a good idea to thank your organisation and colleagues for the opportunities and help they’ve given you.
  4. If your employer asks you to do an exit interview, give constructive feedback but resist the temptation to complain. The sector is a small one and you never know when you’ll have to work with them again.
  5. Either connect on LinkedIn or get contact details of any colleagues you’d like to stay in touch with, or could potentially use as a referee.

Here’s more advice from TPP on resigning:

How to resign

Should you accept a counter offer?