ChatGPT, OpenAI’s buzzy new chatbot, is a sensation. (NurPhoto/Getty Images)
- My editor asked me to see if ChatGPT, an AI chatbot, could write a decent resignation letter.
- I had had a hard week at work and the assignment gave me the opportunity to (artificially) quit.
- But I did not expect that the personalized resignation letter would encourage self-reflection.
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If ChatGPT, OpenAI’s buzzy new chatbot, can write cover letters good enough to grab recruiters’ attention, can it write a decent resignation letter?
That was the question my editor asked me one day at a team meeting, and I bravely volunteered for the mission. (It had been a rough week, and the assignment spoke to me in a strange way. Come on, who hasn’t fantasized about quitting their job? The chance to make my daydream come true – even artificially – was a chance to grab.)
I looked forward to my resignation in pixelated form. (Did I mention I had a rough week?) It’s not that I wanted to quit, necessarily, but I’m tired and may be suffering from pandemic burnout, like many people. Besides, after spending the past two years as a career and workplace reporter covering the “Great Resignation,” an unprecedented period in which employees quit — and changed — jobs at record highs, a part of me yearned to join the crowd. to connect. .
What I didn’t expect was that the effect of seeing ChatGPT’s personalized resignation letter in black and white would be so shocking. I thought I was fulfilling an assignment to help potential quitters perform an otherwise tedious task. Instead, I received career counseling.
Logging in took a while
First of all: I had to log in to the chatbot. This took some time. ChatGPT was released to the public at the end of November and within five days it gained over 1 million users. It’s been inundated with requests lately. And while I initially found the chatbot’s joking attempts to “explain its status” charming in Shakespearean prose, pirate talk, and sea otter slang, they soon angered me.
Finally, after four days of trying, I got in. My request was clear and so was the answer:
Can you write me a letter of resignation from my job as Senior Correspondent at Insider? My last day is February 1.
Best [Editor’s Name],
I am writing to inform you of my resignation as a Senior Correspondent at Insider, effective February 1.
I want to thank you and the entire team at Insider for the opportunities and experiences I’ve had while working here. I have greatly appreciated the support and guidance of my colleagues and superiors during my time with the company.
I assure you that I will do everything I can to ensure a smooth transition and to ensure that my departure will have minimal impact on the team and projects I have worked on. I am happy to assist with training or find a replacement, and I will ensure that all my current assignments are completed to the best of my ability before my last day.
Thanks again for the time and opportunities I’ve had while working at Insider.
A moment of joy, then panic
Well, there it was. I could stop now. The catharsis was real. Order done.
But when I read it again, my excitement turned to panic. Look, in addition to covering the Great Resignation, I’ve also recently written about the weakening economy, increasing layoffs in technology—many others in the media industry—and a possible recession. I’m naturally a worrier, so quitting might not be a good idea (at least for me; many others think otherwise).
In addition, the letter’s reference to “the support and guidance of my colleagues and superiors” made me feel tender. The wording was generic, but the sentiment was appropriate. I can’t leave, right?
Luckily I was able to ask the AI:
What if I change my mind and I don’t want to resign?
If you change your mind and decide you don’t want to resign, you can try withdrawing your letter of resignation. It is up to your employer to decide whether or not to accept your withdrawal. It is always best to talk to your manager or supervisor and have an open and honest conversation about your decision.
It’s important to keep in mind that once you’ve submitted a letter of resignation, it can be difficult to take it back and your employer may already have started making plans to fill your position. It is also worth considering that withdrawing your resignation could damage your relationship with your employer and colleagues.
It’s best to weigh all the pros and cons before making a final decision and talk it over with someone you trust.
It’s good to have options – and advice you can rely on
ChatGPT is right of course. Quitting and then quitting isn’t a good career move. (I’m looking at you, Tom Brady.)
I enjoyed going back and forth. Granted, ChatGPT’s responses were robotic, but I work from home and it gets lonely at times. Plus, my kids are teens/tweens, and it was satisfying to get instant, vehement responses from ChatGPT.
I wanted to keep the conversation going, so I asked one last question based on the previous answer:
Who can I trust?
It is important to have people in your life that you can trust and confide in. Some people you could talk to include:
- A close friend or family member you trust who will give you honest and unbiased advice.
- A mentor or someone more experienced in similar situations who you respect and who can guide you.
- A therapist or counselor who can provide a neutral and confidential space to discuss your thoughts and feelings.
- A career coach or a professional who can help you think about your career choices.
It is also important to remember that you can trust yourself. Take some time to think about your decision and consider what’s best for you and your career.
Amen. Everyone needs reliable and honest people in their life. You too can trust yourself. If you’re ever unsure, ChatGPT is a good sounding board.
Look, I don’t want to cover up ChatGPT’s problems. As well as being full of bias, the chatbot can also enable students to cheat, spread misinformation, and can be used to facilitate questionable business practices. But for simple chores like writing resignation letters, it seems useful and can even lead to self-reflection.
My week looks like. Note to my editor (hello!): I’m not resigning today. But when I do – one day far in the future – I know where to go to write my letter.