The Resignation Letter I Should Have Written
Was there ever a time you left a job and in reflection you thought, “Man, I should have discussed the real reason I was leaving.” Ever wanted to turn back the hands of time? Yea, this is my story…
I was in my office toiling away at a proposal, when my boss at the time popped in to check up on the day’s work. After going over our various projects, she headed out the office only to make a right about turn:
Boss: Analise, your annual appraisal is coming up and we need to have an open and honest discussion about whether your introvertedness is a good match for this industry. This job requires you to be in constant contact with people via email and on the telephone. I know that you are from banking and construction backgrounds so you probably didn’t have to deal with people much of the time.
Me: *blank stare* Unsure where this is going.
Boss: I had a friend years ago who worked at the bank and she told me that she had to wear a mask to work everyday. I didn’t understand what she meant by it then but now I do. Her personality is more like mine, bubbly and outgoing and the bank is a somber environment. So in order for her to survive in the workplace she had to wear a mask to fit in and maybe that’s something you should consider, wearing a mask to work so that you could survive in here. Anyway, we will talk more on this later.
I was too dumbfounded to respond and needed time to reflect on, “Did she tell me what I thought she just told me?”
As I retold the story to one of my confidants at the time, her sentiments matched mine precisely, “She basically said that you are not good enough. That’s fucked up.”
After 2 days of grave deliberation and talking to family and friends, I took the biggest risk of my career and resigned gracefully. I believed that this was the final straw as it was not the 1st time that a ‘personality flaw’ was pointed out to me. My resignation letter was the usual polite letter as expected to cite that I decided to return to school to further my studies (not a lie) and thanked her for the guidance during my time there. She certainly taught me a lot more than myself than I imagined.
Even though resigning was all I could do in my power to defend my self-worth and to me it certainly was an act of self-love, I should have stated the real reason for my resignation. Not be obnoxious or disrespectful, but to simply state why the relationship could not continue. Instead, I chickened out leaving it hanging for her to create whatever story she wishes about me not being able to work there. I am all about collaboration which may require me to compromise, but I will not allow someone to attempt to make me into someone I am not.
So here it is, the letter I should have written.
It is with a heavy heart that I tender my resignation as General Manager. After our discussion last week about being an introvert not being a match for the industry and deep deliberation, I have decided that it may be best for us to no longer continue our professional relationship.
In the banking and construction industries, I interfaced daily with people, emails and telephone calls. As an introvert, I have always been in stimulating environments. While I do require individual time to complete tasks I have always preferred working in small teams.
While I acknowledge that I may not be the liveliest person in the room, I am by no means the dullest. I know you pointed out that as an introvert wearing a mask at work may help me better fit into the environment. However, I can assure you it will not. Wearing a mask would only serve to stifle my gifts and it would also ensure that I become a fake person to make others like and accept me.
I am able to state this without fear because it has taken me a number of years to love and accept who I am as an individual. I have often felt as a young adult that introversion was a weakness, a flaw that needed to be fixed. I do not believe that being an introvert makes me any less capable of performing my duties or, in fact impedes my intellect or business savvy. Perhaps being an extrovert yourself, you would prefer someone who is more like you.
I Am That I Am and That Is All That I Am.
I wish you and your team continued success as you embark your journey as an entrepreneur. Please advise when you would like to have the wrap up meeting wherein we will discuss the wrap-up document and any other outstanding matters.
P.S. — I am grateful for this experience. After years of trying to please others, be right, look good, be safe and many other things to “keep it together” when posed with the question”Who Am I Really?”, I drew a blank. I am happy that I recognised that I am good enough and deserve respect.
Thanks so much for reading! If you enjoyed my story, it would mean the world to me if you hit the recommend button so someone else can stumble across it too. :)