Mr. Smith Leaves Wall Street - Lesson Learned???

By Scott Miller

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This week proved to be an interesting one with the resignation by Greg Smith from Goldman Sachs. Primary reason for the interesting part was his very public departure. Not only did he resign but he blasted his former employer as a Wall Street Fat Cat that does not look out for their customers and announces to the world via the Wall Street Journal Op Ed piece how they are lining their pockets with the hard earned money of their many investors. This poses questions that have yet to be answered such as: Why did Mr. Smith resign exactly, yes there have been indications as to his role with the company, but frankly he is a very wealthy man who earned his wealth at Goldman Sachs. Secondly why did he feel incumbent to call out his employer on his way out? What would lead him to that decision? Lastly was that a smart move on his part?

I cannot answer the first two questions. However what I can answer is the third question, it was not a smart move. When exiting a company or resigning, you should do so quietly. You need to maintain your dignity and keep the respect you have garnered for yourself while at your place of employment. I don’t care if you’re a Wall Street Executive or a fry cook at the local burger shop. The bottom line is you have a reputation to protect and the last thing you want to do is damage it with a verbal assault on your current or past employer. Believe me it will follow you; people talk especially recruiters and hiring mangers. The lingering affect can be devastating to your future prospect of employment.

Mr. Smith has definitely garnered a lot of attention to himself but he has certainly damaged his credibility, by attaching his criticisms to his resignation, his credibility instantly becomes a target. His comments will fade of course as everything does from the headlines. He will probably open his own investment house or go to work for some other company on Wall Street. The bottom line here is that whoever hires him will always be wondering ~

"What will he say about us?"

The long and short of it is simple, when leaving, resigning or quitting a job or a career ---- always leave quietly and with respect. No one can take your integrity away from you, no one can take your respect --- only you can by allowing your emotional side to get the better of you.

"Remember you’re not a martyr you’re an employee, continue to be the best one you can be to your next employer."


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