If Meghan Markle ever decided to pivot into music, her first video should be a nod to Taylor Swift's "Look What You Made Me Do." Except the Duchess' version would sign off with her new out of office message:
"Many thanks for your email. The office of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex has now closed."
But the former actress, now former-royal, has better things to do than indulge our pop culture fantasies. The January conversation with Queen Elizabeth II that led to the Sussex's shocking announcement that they are stepping away from their royal duties officially goes into effect today. So if you're trying to reach the Sussexes, you're already too late.
Meghan and Harry will no longer have an office in Buckingham Palace and they recently let go of their London staff. Palace spokespeople and representatives will no longer act on behalf of the Duke and Duchess, and they can no longer rely on the British Crown to subsidize their private security detail. And as of February, they aren't allowed to go by "royal." The couple will also stop using the Sussex Royal name in their social media or future nonprofit endeavors.
Let Meghan and Harry's recent automatic email response be a lesson on how to write a good out of office message and how to properly leave a job. Keep it short and sweet and avoid long-winded explanations. People emailing you don't need to know why you aren't responding, they only need to know not to expect a response. If you're transitioning out of a position, it might be worth mentioning how your soon-to-be-former colleagues can reach you in the future, but you are under no obligation to remain available to them. But if you're only going on vacation or are on leave, it's good to add a return date (if you have it) and offer alternative people they can reach out to for specific asks (with their permission). This is surely one of many lessons on career pivots we can learn from Meghan Markle.