Develop an exit strategy

How to plan your finale performance like a star

By Erica Pierce

 

There comes a time in all careers when we either feel stagnant or simply long for more. We lose our happy, and once that’s lost, it makes the work situation tolerable, yet undesirable. The first thing many people think to do is simply quit their job; this isn’t the best option, as it doesn’t allow ample preparation, nor does it give you anything to fall back on.

It’s time to plan your exit strategy. Here are a few tips to help:

 

  1. Proper planning prevents poor performance. Dust off your resume and give it a nice review. This is where you can update it as needed and add the bells and whistles to really show off your abilities. If you have a website and/or portfolio of your work, is everything current and presentable on demand? Is your online presence user friendly and SEO-optimized? These are a few questions that you may want to ask yourself to make the necessary changes if needed.

 

  1. Pack lightly. This is the perfect time to slowly and discreetly start taking items home from your office space. Be careful, as you don’t want your imminent departure to be obvious, especially if you haven’t discussed the change with your employer. This is also a critical time to get any and all essential files that you may need backed up for personal access.

 

  1. Don’t burn your bridges. You never know when you’ll need to cross them again. This is the perfect time to reach out to those former business colleagues, employers and any potential references. Not only does this allow you to “put a bug in their ear,” but it also opens the door to potential opportunities.

 

  1. Pinch those pennies. Don’t spend frivolously, as you may or may not have a job lined up. Even if you do, now isn’t the time to spend. Choose to save instead!

 

One great quote that comes to mind is, “Before you quit, remember why you started.” Sometimes all it takes is a reminder or reassurance that you’re where you need to be. Other times, it’s that wake-up call that you’ve been ignoring, but now it’s simply time to answer.

It also never hurts to talk about your concerns with your employer to see if there’s an alternative to resigning altogether. This is where compromise comes into play. If after discussing your exit plans with your employer, you still don’t feel as though your needs are being met, this is when you can submit your professional resignation. It’s always wise to resign by providing at least two weeks of notice and with another job opportunity on the backburner; however, things don’t always happen this way. With proper planning, you should be able to resign from one position and transition into a new one without hindering yourself from advancement on either end. Your exit strategy may only be a discussion and a resume (or two) away.