Sorry to start off this way but I have to apologize. I have been neglecting this blog of late. Work and life have reached a frenetic pace, once again, and I can’t even carve out free time to play with my newly acquired MacBook Pro to learn how to produce a podcast. My body clock had been thrown out of whack so badly that my acupuncturist took one quick glance at me, and said, “I haven’t seen you for a while, you look really pretty, I like your haircut.” She then took a hard look into my eyes and at tongue (I still don’t get why Chinese doctors read patient’s tongues) and followed up with, “Oh, but you look completely worn out. In all these years of treating you, I have never seen you look this bad.” Thanks, Doc, as if I didn’t already feel like shit when I staggered through the door. I say all of that to explain why I have been absent from posting to this blog for almost two full months. I haven’t been writing much, aside from the numerous communications at work but no one wants to read that, right?
Very recently, I wrote a letter of resignation. I haven’t crafted one of these in almost 20 years. My career has taken me through many twists and turns but when it is all said and done, I have worked for different affiliates of my current company for almost 17 years. Prior to this, my employment was through an employment agency so no formal letter of resignation was required when I have moved on to permanent employment.
So as I sat at my keyboard with the intention of typing a brief letter to announce my resignation, I realized that I didn’t know where to start. To the Internet I raced. A quick google search brought me to websites with advice and coaching on how to write a cover letter and create a resume that will “pop” and catch a recruiter’s eye. Don’t believe what you read on the internet. If you are applying for a job via a website, use key words in your resume and cover letter that will be read when your materials are scanned by a computer. Rare is the case that a human being will read your cover letter and resume when it first arrives. You need to have the electronic scanner bot approve you before a live organism such as an HR recruiting team member touches your resume and cover letter.
The guidance on resignation letters felt impersonal and dry. Essentially, I gleaned that one should not burn bridges when leaving a place employment (#noduh) and showing gratitude for the knowledge and experience acquired at one’s soon to be past place of employment is important.
Just to be clear, I haven’t left my current employer. I have resigned from the Diversity Collegium. The website describes the organization as such: “The Diversity Collegium is a group of 25 professionals that has been meeting for more than two decades for the purpose of advancing the work that has come to be known as the field of Diversity and Inclusion. The Collegium members meet to discuss current issues in the field. In the process, they conduct research and prepare papers on current and cutting edge questions. Membership in the group is by invitation only and is managed so that a balance of diversity is created among its members including such dimensions as race/ethnicity, industry, gender, and how one practices in the field. The Diversity Collegium is a non-profit corporation registered in the State of Washington, USA.”
As I reflected on my time with the organization that I chose to resign from, I realized that the experience I gained has have impacted my professional life tremendously. My connection to men and women who founded the field and study of diversity and inclusion kicks ass on any PhD. We had dialogue and debate on issues that crossed race, gender, sexual orientation, global diversity, people with disabilities and when I joined, I wanted to explore generational diversity and personality style (introvert/extrovert) to the conversation.
My involvement with developing the Global Diversity and Inclusion Benchmarks (as an expert panelist) is what I am most proud of in terms of a tangible deliverable from my time with the Diversity Collegium. The Global Diversity and Inclusion Benchmarks: Standards for Organizations Around the World, was co-authored by Julie O’Mara and Alan Richter, Ph.D., along with 80 Expert Panelists.
The Diversity Collegium does not charge a fee for anyone to download or use this tool. If you’re a practitioner with interest in this tool, go to their website to download The Global D&I Benchmarks tool.
One of the other highlights of my time with Diversity Collegium was having a quiet conversation about generational differences with the legendary R. Roosevelt Thomas over wine and a brownie. Moments like that are priceless. I wrote my letter of resignation with a smile because the friendships that I made through the Diversity Collegium have filled my life with luster and laughter. Hopefully, the next letter of resignation that I write will be completed with smiles and sweet memories like brownies and wine.