When to stay, and when to (absolutely) leave in PR

I’m not a quitter.

In the professional realm, I’m extremely confident in my ability to dedicate my time and effort to the work at hand. Yet, last night, I quit. I weighed my options, I sent the email, and I quit.

Making this decision was tough. The factors at hand led me to wrongfully doubt my professional abilities and my personal dedication. Then, as I worked through what was really going on beneath the surface, the decision became much clearer. I know this experience has better prepared me for future ethical, client dilemmas as a PR professional.

Disclaimer: I write because this is a valuable lesson I know my peers can learn from, and an experience many have possibly shared. I choose to be vague in order to protect the organization that I have resigned from. This is not written against said organization, rather in support of my decision to no longer be a part of it.

This is why I decided it was (absolutely) time to leave:

  1. My dedication to my position caused both personal and professional ethical discomfort on a regular basis. Personal morality takes priority, enough said.
  2. I found myself existing as part of a community that bred bullying, a cause I passionately advocate against.
  3. I watched this organization repeatedly weed out the most well-meaning amongst it.
  4. I realized that what existed wasn’t a PR problem, but a people problem. Due to the nature of this issue and my lack of access to it, my time and effort were continually being wasted.
  5. The advice and counsel that I had to offer was consistently ignored or forgotten. My position became a time suck. (And–to the public eye–a joke.)
  6. There’s plenty of great work to be done elsewhere. Said Rumi:

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Choosing to leave isn’t an easy decision, and going back on prior commitments should never be taken lightly. In this case, the hardest decision to make was the one I’ve learned the most from. I’ll still refuse to call myself a quitter, and I think I’m all the wiser for it.

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