The views expressed in this article are strictly those of Max Wideman.
The contents of the book under review are the copyright property of the author.
Published here March 2021

Introduction | Book Structure | What We Liked
Downside | Summary

What We Liked

When it comes to thinking about changing employers, or employees for that matter, the idea of introducing a personal project under the banner of "Transitioning" is a good one. As Steven Manchel puts it:[6]

"Transitioning covers the time between when you decide you are interested in perhaps leaving your company, to when you knock on your manager's door to resign."

So, what should you do before actually resigning to ensure a smooth Transitioning and make sure to avoid any disruptive and costly litigation? Here follows Steven's list of considerations from the employee's perspective:[7]

  1. What can and can't you discuss during the hiring process?
  2. When should you tender your resignation?
  3. What should you say when you quit?
  4. To whom should you address if your boss is out for the day?
  5. How should you compose your letter of resignation?
  6. Can you go secretly into your office the night before resigning and take your personal stuff?
  7. What information can you keep — and not keep?
  8. Before resigning, can you tell your revenue sources that you will be leaving?
  9. What if you are a manager or senior executive your self, should you determine who will come with you?
  10. In short, how can you make sure that you prepare and resign in the right way?

Steven adds that at the heart of his book is how to manage both the law and the psychology of Transitioning. Good transitioning requires a disciplined focus on the governing law, as well as a real appreciation for the feelings, emotions, and optics, and often the fear and anger, that are a natural by-products of Transitioning.[8], [9]

Of course, if you are on the receiving end, that's a whole different ball game! In my case, being laid off in a period of severe economic slowdown, I was advised to go to a relevant lawyer to write to my ex-employer to unlock government mandate compensation. As it happened, I was able to find new employment within a few weeks — so the whole exercise proved to be quite profitable — and all without tears.

The book's Introduction concludes with a case study: "Don Jenkins: Between Opportunities" giving examples of what to do and not to do. This case study provides the basis for further discussion and emphasis on "The Art of Resigning".[10]

Part Two of the book is devoted to a discussion of "How companies Best Manage the Process of Hiring from the Competition". On the face of it, you may think that this part of the book is not really relevant. May be not now. However, as you gain experience and rise up the employment ladder, sooner or later you are quite likely to be presented with the challenge of staffing a big new project. If you are looking for well-qualified staff, then where will they come from? The answer is: "the competition", of course! So, Chapters 4 and 5 are well worth keeping in mind.

The book is well written in a clear style, and the content makes for light easy reading. Having been there and done some of that, the book in my view offers sound and realistic advice that is well worth taking to heart. That is whether you are resigning, being laid off, or the unfortunate recipient of a letter of termination.

Book Structure  Book Structure

6. Ibid.
7. Ibid, abstracted from Steven's Introduction, on p3.
8. Ibid, p4.
9. Bear in mind that author Steven Manchel is writing from the perspective of the law in the US and US State Law of the day. The specifics will vary in different countries and from time to time.
10. In Chapters 1 through 4, pp21‑52.
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