“I Quit” Doesn’t Mean “I Don’t Care”

Yes you do, Garfield. You may act like you don't, but you care about a lot of things.
Yes you do, Garfield. You may act like you don’t, but you care about a lot of things.

It turns out (unsurprisingly) that I’m not wired for the corporate world — not even the vaguely corporate world I’d been working in for the past two and a half-plus years. So I quit my job and heading back out on my own. Forever.

Just because I quit doesn’t mean I don’t care, though.

I’m still a shareholder of the company I left, so I have a financial incentive to root for them. Not that I need a financial incentive, but it’s nice to have one. I have plenty of other reasons to care, too:

  1. I put a ton of hard work into the company, so I certainly don’t want to see it wasted.
  2. I respect and admire the people of Mitre Media, and want them to succeed.
  3. I built an amazing company with thousands of fine people as customers, and I want them to continue to be well served for many years to come.

I still truly care about the people I worked with, the people I reached, the people I helped. The properties I built and helped build. That’s why I went out the right way:

  • I gave a month’s notice before I left.
  • I personally handled the transition of any necessary tasks, documenting processes and handing them off to the appropriate people.
  • I sincerely thanked everyone for their hard work, and I’m helping those who lost their jobs because of me to get right back on their feet.

If you’re interested, here’s the full text of my resignation letter I sent in early March:

[CEO & President],

It’s with a heavy heart but a great deal of optimism for the future that I submit my resignation from Mitre Media today. The past nearly three years have been an amazing experience, and I’ve learned a great deal from everyone at Mitre that I’ve worked with. I’m fully committed to making this transition as seamless as possible, and will stay on for at least an additional two weeks, or perhaps as long as month if needed, in order to ensure my departure doesn’t negatively affect the company in any way.

As you both know, my wife is pregnant with our second child. Having another child has reignited my entrepreneurial spirit, and I’m excited to venture out on my own once again. My passion for working in the more rigid corporate environment of Mitre has waned considerably over the past several months, and I’m a firm believer in the mantra that if you don’t absolutely love what you’re doing, you need to make a change.

[Some details about timing of departure]

As mentioned previously, I’m fully committed to making this transition as seamless as possible, so I’m open to your suggestions as to how best to do it.

I sincerely thank both of you for all of your efforts over the past few years in making Mitre a fantastic company, and a true force in the tech/finance world. I’ve busted my ass right alongside of you, and consider you great colleagues as well as friends. I’m exceptionally proud of all that we’ve accomplished together, and have nothing but good memories to take with me from my experiences here. Finally, as a Mitre shareholder, I have nothing but the utmost confidence that Mitre will continue to succeed long after my departure.

Once again, thanks very much for everything, and I look forward to hearing from you regarding the next steps.

Sincerely,

-TR

See? It’s not that I don’t care. I simply care more about my own aspirations.

I think people tend to unhappily hold onto things for too long — their job, relationships, etc. — because they’re afraid of being cold. They fear that they’ll look bad if they walk away. They mistakenly believe that quitting will send the message that they don’t care.

In reality, choosing to leave a less-than-ideal situation for something that will make you happier is always the right choice. It’s proof that you do care — about yourself, and about the other people involved.

4 thoughts on ““I Quit” Doesn’t Mean “I Don’t Care”

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