Steven Manchel is an educator and lawyer who teaches at the Harvard Business School and has a little under three decades of experience observing and advising companies regarding their hiring practices and how they navigate losing key employees. His book “I Hereby Resign” Job Transitioning: How Individuals Properly Prepare, Resign and Move to the Competition, and How Companies Best Manage that Process isn’t an extensive text or exhaustive reading experience. Manchel, however, leaves no stone unturned in his examination of how individuals properly transition from one company to the next without provoking negative personal, professional, and legal consequences as a result of their decision.

He adopts a dual perspective for the book as well. “I Hereby Resign” also takes a fruitful look at how companies handle the initial integration process for new hires and the issues arising from such moves. Both sides of the transitioning process are fleshed out with examples and scenarios culled from Manchel’s vast experience in the area, sensible strategies for both employers and employees to follow, and a refreshing amount of personal candor lending further authenticity and authority to Manchel’s thoughts on the subject.

Manchel builds the first part of the book around what he labels a “case study”. His fictional “Don Jenkins” leaves one company for another and makes a number of errors, big and small, in how he handles his departure. The dramatization of the Jenkins case study is believable, never overwrought, and Manchel deconstructs the character’s decisions in a systematic way that readers will find easy to follow. Manchel uses the Jenkins scenario to illustrate key rules he advises all departing employees to follow when they are leaving a company. These “rules” stand out even more thanks to Manchel’s tone – he never lectures or figuratively wags his finger at readers but, instead, adopts an unique human viewpoint when making his case.


The latter point is one of the book’s hallmarks. The legal questions upon exiting a company are real and acknowledged, but Manchel examines the psychological considerations as all. Optics are important and parting on the best possible terms with an employer should be the ambition of anyone in that position. Fumbling your way through the process can engender hard feelings on one or both sides of the separation and that ill will can color your path moving forward. Considering the effects leaving one company for another can have on individual’s perception is something everyone should consider.

“I Hereby Resign” Job Transitioning: How Individuals Properly Prepare, Resign and Move to the Competition, and How Companies Best Manage that Process isn’t even a hundred pages long in its hardcover edition, but few readers will feel cheated by the book’s brevity. Manchel brings a condensed focused to the topic that eschews sideshows and digressions in favor of zeroing in on the core issues. Books like this do not soon date; the concerns addressed within these pages possess no expiration date, even in a changing world, and observing them can prove to be a boon to anyone in this situation.

Garth Thomas