Deciding to quit your job is a life-altering experience. Successful freelancers, contractors, and small business owners will often be able to tell you about the sheer glee they felt upon packing in their depressing old work and embracing self-employment freedom.
Regardless of how satisfying it was hearing the office door close behind them for the last time, most would likely still have left on good (or at least amicable) terms, sensibly choosing not to rock the boat.
On the other hand, if you feel like you’re ready to throw your computer out of the top floor window or let down the tyres of your tormentor’s car, perhaps you should calm yourself down by enjoying these cathartic, inventive, or downright ridiculous ways people have handed in their notices.
Joey DeFrancesco managed to trade in his employment for (at time of writing) five-and-a-half million Youtube views when he flamboyantly quit his hotel room service job.
“I hated them, and they hated me,” DeFrancesco told the Huffington Post.
“It was this big drawn-out war we were having with management … I knew I had to get one last shot at them.”
Let’s face it, at some point in our lives we’ve all felt like making a big noise when quitting a job, but not many of us will have had the luxury of being able to enlist a 20 piece marching band to play us out. Fair play!
Tabloid hack Richard Peppiatt was feeling increasingly guilty after stooping lower and lower to fill the pages of the Daily Star. Spending his days digging up dirt on celebrities was doing a number on his conscience, but it was the lengths (he claimed) the paper would go to to stir up racial hatred that eventually ended up being the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Peppiatt publically ‘fessed up to completely making up several stories and proceeded to deliver a multitude of scathing blows to his former boss Richard Desmond in a somewhat redemptive open letter in The Guardian.
“When you assign budgets thinner than your employee-issue loo roll there’s little option but for Daily Star editors to build a newspaper from cut-and-paste jobs off the Daily Mail website, all tied together with gormless press releases.”
The newly-turned vigilante then went on speaking tours and in 2014 produced an hour long feature-film ‘One Rogue Reporter’, a very satisfying watch where he gave some of the most dastardly figures on Fleet Street a taste of their own medicine.
Life’s a game
Australian developer Jarrad Woods decided to give up his comfortable job at major video games company 2K to pursue a solo career creating independent games. Woods – in probably the most pleasant and charming example on our list – handed in his resignation in the form of a Super Mario flash mini-game.
You can play the game here, but for those who are excruciatingly bad at Mario, the message at the end reads:
“Thank you 2K Australia! You gave me a paycheck, an incredible project and a world-class team to learn from. But my princess is in another castle.”
Gone to pot
The legal classification of the ol’ wacky tobacky is always a cause for debate. Few would agree with this sentiment more than aptly named former Alaska news reporter Charlo Greene.
At the end of a live on-air report on the Alaska Cannabis Club, Greene announced out of the blue that she was, in fact, the club’s owner, and that she would be dedicating all of her energy toward “fighting for freedom and fairness, which begins with legalising marijuana here in Alaska”.
“And as for this job, well, not that I have a choice but, f**k it, I quit.”
Having your cake and eating it
Chris Holmes loved working with food but wasn’t too keen on the intensity and unsociable hours that came with being a chef. He hit the reset button and got himself a steady gig as a border control officer at Stansted Airport, whilst running a cake business on the side.
Three years later, he’d refined his baking to the point where he was confident and successful enough to take it full time, and his suitably sweet resignation letter served as an incredible publicity stunt for his business.
A Resignation Letter On A Cake. pic.twitter.com/3XVDOzCdBD
— karensnext (@stevemcceney) July 31, 2016
Perhaps he didn’t have a pad and paper to hand, but this worked out much better for him – and the newly anointed ‘Mr. Cake’ received global media coverage for his efforts.
You can hear an interesting interview with Chris talking about his journey here.
Master of Puppets
Gwen Dean had worked in New York as a refrigeration machine operator for 18 years, but her real passion was in designing, making, and performing with kids’ puppets.
Dean had already formed plans to become a full-time puppeteer when she answered an anonymous advert looking for someone who was planning to quit their job and turn their hobby into a business.
Amazingly, this ad turned out to have been placed by an agency on behalf of the DIY-website company GoDaddy, who notified Dean that she had been chosen to appear in a TV advert during the commercial break of the Super Bowl – famously one of the world’s biggest television audiences.
“She just quit her job – in front of a hundred million people.”
Movin’ on out
You may have heard of the woman who quit her job by uploading a video of herself dancing to the Kanye West song “Gone”. Marina Shifrin, the visionary behind the viral clip, became an overnight celebrity, appearing on news channels and chat shows across the world.
But Shifrin warned later that whilst she was seen as a renegade hero, she had done the due diligence of giving the company one month’s notice before posting the resignation – although her direct boss was said to have found out from seeing the video on Youtube.
In an excellent blog on LinkedIn, Shifrin openly discourages anyone from rushing to follow in her very rhythmic footsteps, warning that quitting your job is a scary, difficult move and not necessarily an instant problem-solver. However, she offers this caveat:
“If you decide to ignore my warnings and quit anyway, because you have a desire so strong you’re ready to turn your life upside for it, then let me be the first to congratulate you. Let me also be the first to welcome you to the crazy club for dreamers, thinkers, movers, and shakers who refuse to accept life at face value and who end up more fulfilled because of it.”
We wholeheartedly agree, but would suggest checking out our blog on how to how to set up a small business while working on the side.
Even if you’ve been inspired by these viral visionaries, this might be a much safer option than hastily quitting your job without building a client base of your own.