In today’s oversharing economy, when you make a big life change like switching from almond milk to oat milk or leaving a job at a prestigious tech company, you must broadcast your reasons to the world. The “Dear John” divorce letter of yesterday has become the “Why I Left X Company” LinkedIn posting of today.
Two days ago, the “Why I Left” canon got a new entry. Though nobody asked, engineer Brian Amerige gifted a 1,026-word explanation, published by Business Insider, outlining why he left Facebook, adding to the growing arsenal of “Why I Left” missives sent from disgruntled employees to the world.
Amerige’s letter began with a strident declaration (“I’m leaving Facebook”), followed by a nostalgic, heartbroken farewell (“difficult decision…love so much…time for me to move on”) and then some lengthy rationalization. The dealbreaker: Amerige fell out of love with Facebook’s “culture,” which he called a “political monoculture” that impeded free speech. (Recently, Facebook banned Sandy Hook “truther” Alex Jones.) Like most “Why I Left” authors before him, Amerige’s bitter break-up song ends in a “what’s next” section, turning it into both an “I Will Survive” anthem and the most pure-hearted self-promotion for his next project.
Nowadays, many of tech’s broken-hearted have been running into the welcoming arms of blockchain, writing posts with titles like, “Why I left my job at Prominent Tech Company X for blockchain startup Y.” We at BREAKER have seen so many, we have compiled this easy-to-use template, below.
Why I Left [Company Name] for [Something New, and Probably Blockchain-Related]
1. Start by reminiscing about your emotional time at the company.
Remember how your company used to make you feel the way your first love did—that mixture of excitement and safety experienced during your first clandestine kiss behind the playground in elementary school? How about that first cup of hazelnut Keurig coffee? There’s no drama in parting without sweet sorrow. Tell us what you loved about your old job. Make us cry.
2. “I needed a change.”
An abrupt segue will do. You’ve been sappy enough already. Time to get down to business and rip off the Band-Aid. Being gentle now will only hurt more in the long-run.
3. The Big Why.
This is the part of your departure letter we’ve all been waiting for: the dirty details. All readers really want to know is how your company pissed you off. However, do mince words. What you write could come back to bite you, so you don’t want to point to any specific political labels (“conservative” and “liberal” are frowned upon in these letters) or name any names. Your argument here should be long, vague, and a very clear suppression of your raging emotions.
4. Send an inspirational message.
Don’t forget that you’re not writing out of some petty motive, like revenge. No, you’re here to share your hard-won wisdom with the poor, unfortunate masses who haven’t had the courage, no, the bravery, no, the chutzpah to leave their unfulfilling jobs (which they, like you, also totally loved, don’t get them wrong). They need your inspiration, so this is where you must provide it. Take a page out of Amerige’s letter and tell your readers to “be scrappy, be proud.” While you’re at it, tell yourself that, too.
5. What kind of blockchain startup will you be launching now?
Everyone knows that blockchain will save the world. This is writ. What everyone doesn’t know is that you are going to use blockchain to save the world (and maybe, coincidentally, remind people of what pissed you off in section 3). Rub your new partner’s glory in your ex’s face—Facebook couldn’t save us from election meddling but blockchain might.
6. The sign-off.
“You’re welcome” usually works.