Even during austerity you can have your cake and eat it!

I was reading the Metro on the 7.55 from Purley the other day when I stumbled on this brilliant story. This guy resigned from the UK Border Force to spend more time with his family and to concentrate on his cake making business. And here’s the clever bit – he wrote his resignation letter on a cake!

The timing couldn’t have been better. That morning I was heading for an event where the theme of the day was ‘managing through austerity’. I spoke to the assembled CEOs and colleagues about the new world of work.

We looked at some of the stats. Yes there are lots of new jobs being created but so many are part time or zero hours. Yes unemployment seems to be falling (fractionally) but the numbers of 16-24 years who are unemployed is touching a million. And as for the number of graduates who are looking for work, let’s not go there.

But it’s not just austerity that is having an impact. Globalisation, outsourcing and, of course, technology all mean that life at work, as well as life out of work, is very different now. We all know that there is no such thing as a job for life but, increasingly, we are seeing whole occupations disappear almost overnight. And then demographics come in to play. People are living and working longer. The Gen Ys are working to live rather than living to work. Which brings us back to our friend and his inspired resignation letter.  He said

Today is my 31st birthday, and having recently become a father I now realise how precious life is and how important it is to spend my time doing something that makes me, and other people, happy. For that reason I hereby give notice of my resignation, in order that I may devote my time and energy to my family, and to my cake business which has grown steadily over the past few years.”

As a matter of routine during outplacement programmes we encourage people to consider their own personal motivations and values when exploring career options. And increasingly, as Sarah pointed out in her recent blog, Are we becoming a nation of grocers once again? we are seeing almost a quarter of our delegates choosing some form of self-employment. For some, this will be out of necessity but for many, it is a life style choice. And this is something we actively encourage. Whereas my and my father’s generation saw the career ladder as the only real measure of career success, in today’s world of work, happiness, well-being and motivation should be the true mark of a great career.

As a final post script to this story, we always encourage our delegates to maximise their networks. We are seeing the numbers of roles secured through networking rising very steadily.

The final line on the cake resignation letter? You’ve guessed it

“I wish the organisation and my colleagues the best for the future and I remind you that, if you like it, you can order more at www.mrcake.co.uk


Mike Burgneay
Client Development Director