If You Are Planning to Resign – Don’t Talk About It… to Anyone!

timtolan Making Offers, Recruiting, Retention, Tim Tolan

I share stories with my search colleagues like I do here at FOT. I was talking to Kris Dunn on Monday and we shared a laugh – because in this business you never run out of things to talk about. It's priceless.

Last week, I was talking to a colleague of mine who is an outstanding search consultant and has been doing search for many years. I started to tell him about what happened to me on a search that, while somewhat disappointing, was actually funny at the same time.

"Ok, wait-wait-wait" my buddy told me. You will not believe this one… RecordingInIPhone_Full

He was right.

He had a candidate lined up for a new gig – and had negotiated the start date, salary, bonus and all of the other details that go with the final offer. Only the resignation left on the to-do list. He shared his "confidential news" with a few trusted confidants and with his family – that was it. The morning of his resignation, he left home with that sour stomach we all get when faced with one of life's top 10 most traumatic events. His plan – resign after work when the building has cleared out. Good plan.

He walked in the building, and within 5 minutes his boss called him into the conference room. OK – no biggie, probably a quick discussion about a project he was working on. Stay calm, cool and get thru it; simple enough – right.

WRONG! The dialog went something like this:

BOSS: Are you planning to resign today?

CANDIDATE: Who me (as he trys to figure out who blew the whistle)? NO - Who told you that?

BOSS: You did.

CANDIDATE: What (his face started to heat up) NO I did not!

BOSS: Yes, you did. You called my cell phone over the weekend while you were eating out Saturday and talking to your wife about resigning. It was a 10 minute call - I heard everything. 


BOSS: Way. I even heard you when you placed your order. 

CANDIDATE: You did not!

BOSS: Yes, I did. You dined at 5 Guys on Saturday about 1:15pm – ordered 2 burgers (one with cheese and one without), 2 Diet Cokes, and you shared an order of fries. I heard the entire conversation (in detail) about how you were planning to resign today.

CANDIDATE: (face glowing red by now) Wow – I guess I did not lock the keyboard on my phone and accidentally dialed your number. Well, ummm I was going to tell you later today.

BOSS: I know – after work was what you said.  


Next time – check the keyboard lock on your cell when you decide to have a conversation about anything important. OK - just lock it at all times. Period.