The story of Joe Muto, who up until this morning was known as the Fox News Mole, has gone viral over the past two days. Muto signed on with Gawker to provide dirt, gossip and behind-the-scenes buzz on Fox News. His first post went up on April 10. The next morning, he was summoned to a meeting and suspended with pay.
Muto promises that his freedom will enable him to air even more dirt now that he can speak freely, but Fox News may quash that idea, since officials have handed over the case to the Fox legal team and law enforcement. His public missives are reminiscent of Greg Sachs, the Goldman Sachs executive who resigned via New York Times op-ed last month. While it might temporarily feel great to go out in a blaze of glory, there are plenty of reasons to quit your job with dignity and decorum. Here are five to start off the list.
- You might make your company look bad, but you'll look worse. In her coverage of the Muto story, Forbes writer J. Maureen Henderson wrote, "Unless your departure also involves revealing illegal or unethical dealings for which you have scrupulously documented evidence, you're going to look like the jerk if you kick up a fuss."
- You may be blackballed in your industry. Networking or job-hunting might be troublesome if leaders at other companies perceive you as an impulsive rabble-rouser. This becomes even more likely should your dramatic departure somehow get media or online coverage. Earlier today, Muto acknowledged as much when he told the Daily News, "I think it's pretty safe to say my career in cable news is over."
- You may run into ex-colleagues at a new job. Most employees don't stick with the same company for their entire career; if your industry is tight-knit, that means there's always a possibility that one day you might work with the boss you once tried to embarrass.
- You might run afoul of the law. Breaching corporate trust is a big deal, and could potentially spark legal action. The Daily News reports that Fox News sent Muto a letter that said his blog posts and public comments "are admissions of likely criminal and civil wrongdoing on both your and Gawker's part." The network also released a statement that read, in part, "It's now in the hands of our lawyers and law enforcement, as a crime was committed."
- It's not worth it. The momentary high of telling your boss exactly what you think of him or her will fade. Instead, just quit graciously and courteously.
Have you ever quit a job in a blaze of glory? How did you feel afterward?
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(Photo credit: Joe Muto/Gawker)