Jobs don’t last forever. That’s both good and bad. Wouldn’t it be nice if you never had to search for another job? But on the other hand, can you imagine holding the same position, with the same people, and the same responsibilities for the rest of your life?
There comes a time when it becomes clear that an exit strategy is necessary. But, oftentimes, once we think about leaving a job certain things occur in our head that keep us from making good choices and making that graceful exit. Here are some thoughts you’ll want to keep top-of-mind while you are at one job, searching for another, and planning to fly the coop:
- Treat your colleagues with respect and as potential contacts for your future. You never know who you’ll run into later in your life. The world is a much smaller place than most people realize. Don’t come to that realization once it’s too late.
- Imagine yourself in your boss’ shoes and how it would affect you if one of your staff quit. Your boss will have to re-hire your position, which is stressful and time consuming.
- The less drama the better. You want to be remembered for your work, not any confrontation that may have been created when you left.
- Give the appropriate amount of time. In general, two weeks is the standard minimum for a notice. Offer to do as much as you can to help transition someone else into your position. This makes for a comfortable exit that keeps you in the good graces of your team and your boss.
- Remember where you work! It’s easy to reduce your loyalty when you are on your way out. Don’t let one potential job creep in to your current one. Keep the job search and your current work separate.
- Write a letter to your boss in addition to giving your two weeks notice. You want to keep that connection in your back pocket. Your future could very well find him/her as a new client or as a contractor in your new organization.
- Thank the colleagues that have helped you along the way. Any co-workers or freelancers that you’ve learned from and worked with along the way deserve a visit or a special thank you. You may need their expertise someday and they may need yours!