This Might Be The Best Resignation Letter Ever Written

Photo courtesy of DoSomething.org.
Nancy Lublin has one of those incredible careers you can’t help but want for yourself. She’s made a living helping others. First, Lublin launched Dress For Success, an organization that helps impoverished women get suits for job interviews. Then, in 2003, she took the helm of DoSomething.org, a not-for-profit that encourages young people to participate in social activism. Lublin is both a kick-ass boss and a good person — and that’s an incredible and rare combo.

Last month, Lublin announced that she’d be stepping down from her CEO position at DoSomething to focus full-time on Crisis Text Line, the first 24/7, free, nationwide text line for everyone — which she founded (in her spare time) in 2013. Her resignation letter is as close to perfect as those things can be — equal parts celebratory, funny, and humble. It’s one of those pages to bookmark and pull up when you’re having a bad day at work. Awesome bosses do exist, and Lublin is one of them.

Speaking to Lublin by phone a few weeks after the announcement, she admits that she kind of freaked out after she hit "publish" on the letter. “It took a lot of heart,” she says. “And, I was excited to send it. It seemed like I was really cool and really tough about it, and then an hour after I sent it I totally threw up. I resigned and then threw up. I think it's a great headline.”

Why did Lublin decide to leave a job that she openly admits she loved? She’s lucky enough to have another project that excites her, and she’s found a perfect successor in Aria Finger, who has been DoSomething's COO. “It's a really exciting time for Crisis Text Line," Lublin explains. "It's blowing up, and it's helping lots of people, and it needs my undivided attention. Opportunities are really great there."

"And," she continues, "the [other reason I'm leaving] is I've crushed it here. Things at DoSomething are really good, and there's someone ready to take over for me. It's an organization about young people and social change, and there's a 32-year-old who is ready to be CEO.”

Of course, Lublin has big plans for CTL. Right now, the organization is handling 16,000 messages per day, and she has hopes to expand that to 100,000 by end of the year. But, the organization required more focus than she could give when she was working full-time for DoSomething. With profiles about CTL in The New York Times and the New Yorker, the buzz was building, and she decided to go for it.

CTL needs Lublin’s undivided attention, but it also needs more counselors. “Anybody can do it,” Lublin explains. “And, you can do the training at home, in your jammies, and you can be a crisis counselor from anywhere. You just have to apply. We don’t accept everybody; it's pretty competitive and selective. We want to make sure that someone really has empathy.”

The example she gave is the recent jump in activity CTL experienced after Zayn left One Direction. Lublin deemed it the “Zayn spike." To be a good counselor for CTL, you need to be sympathetic and not think such a wave of inconsolable teens are being ridiculous because their favorite boy band lost a member.

“f you're somebody who understands that, hey, there are all different kinds of things out there that trigger peoples' anxiety, cutting, depression — then maybe you'd be a great crisis counselor. Because our counselors handled those people...with terrific compassion.”

Lublin’s not afraid of the next step, and yet she appreciates that in 12 years at DoSomething, things were always changing and no one was ever coasting. As the conversation wraps up, she takes a minute to talk about a new campaign on DoSomething called 1 in 3 of Us, which focuses on the problem of dating abuse and violence. Lublin cites the staggering statistic that one in three people will be in an abusive relationship. The campaign runs through June 30 and educates teens about this national issue while giving them a chance to enter to win a $5,000 scholarship.

Lublin will officially step down as CEO at the end of October. In the meantime, her final months at DoSomething will no doubt be filled with all the fun and laughter and singing and dancing she writes about in her resignation letter. We should all be so lucky to do such good work and have so much fun doing it.
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