What not to do in business, courtesy of Harry and Meghan

“Revenge” – the new book by celebrity slayer Tom Bower – is out in the United Kingdom, offering another take on Megxit, or Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s exit from the royal family. Megxit in turn offers an example of what not to do in the work world. But let’s frame it in the affirmative, shall we?

  1. Do your due diligence – The duchess said she hardly knew anything about the royals before joining the ultimate family business, which sounds a bit specious given that she researched her role on “Suits” assiduously and said as a youngster that she wanted to be “Princess Diana 2.0.” No matter. Before applying for any job, research it and be brutal: Why do you want the job, or do you merely need it? Is this something you can see yourself doing for a year, five or 20?
  2. Be a true team player – The Sussexes had very definite ideas about what their roles would be within a 1,000-year-old institution. When joining an established enterprise, however, it’s better to hang back to observe how you’ll fit in, unless you were brought in to shake things up. Take the assignments offered, finding what you like in what you don’t, and be patient, waiting for your moment to shine, as Queen Elizabeth II’s late husband – Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh – did, taking on more than 10,000 engagements on behalf of the queen, running the family, modernizing Buckingham Palace and advocating for conservation.
  3. Plan an exit strategy – Should the job no longer fit, you need to plan a graceful exit, one that gives you a cushion and doesn’t blindside the boss. Remember: Leave-taking equals no leverage. Once you decide to go, you must be prepared to leave right then if the boss says so. There’s no “stepping back” as the Sussexes framed it in their preemptive announcement that caught the royals off guard. You’re stepping down.

Let your former job go – Don’t be running off to Oprah with you-said, they-said tales from the crypt. You may be seeing your former coworkers again, particularly if they’re family. A graceful exit must be followed by continued grace. When asked, say the job wasn’t a good fit and sail on.

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