Leaving a job can be intimidating, but sometimes you just have to do it. There are some jobs that just don’t fit, even if you think they do. And sometimes you grow out of a job and there isn’t anywhere else for you to go. If you’re feeling like that, it’s time to build a good exit strategy.
I’ve left a few jobs in my life for various reasons. In most cases, I left because I needed to grow as a professional and an individual and the opportunities that were before me were not enough. I’ve even left because of life circumstances and wanted to change my own focus.
Whatever the reason for me leaving, I always did my best to come up with an exit strategy because it helps both me and my employer transition out in the best way possible. Here’s why you should start thinking about one:
It Gives You a Timeline
A good exit strategy gives you a timeline to work with. If you’re in a job where you’re counting down the hours, minutes and seconds until you’re done, a timeline can be a really powerful tool. It can give you something to count down to so you can focus on the task at hand.
You Can Fill Holes in Your Resume
While we both know that you have some awesome skills, sometimes you don’t have the correct ones for the job that you want. If you have an exit plan you can build in a strategy for developing the skills that you need before you leave which will help you secure that dream job.
You Can Apply Selectively
When we’re desperate to get out of a situation, we make bad decisions. We’ll take anything or everything to get out of something that we’re uncomfortable or not enjoying but that can lead to the same situation in a year’s time or much worse.
If you have planned an exit strategy you have the ability to actually find something you want. That means applying to jobs on your terms and not anything that might get out of there fast. You can find a job that you actually love not one that you’ll want to leave in a few months.
You Can Leave on Good Terms
An exit strategy also helps you leave a job on good terms. When I left my last corporate job, I gave them a whole month’s notice (you are not required to do this) which gave me and my boss a chance to plan out my leaving, finish a number of projects and put together materials so that the next person could transition in smoother than I did.
Because I knew I was leaving, I had an “out” date, I was happier completing the tasks at hand. In those last four weeks we got a ton of great things done that greatly benefited the company and the next new hire which resulted in me leaving on good terms.
Do you have an exit strategy? Drop some tips and tricks in the comments below!
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