Your job is one of your most significant relationships. You might spend more time with your job than you do with your significant other or your family. Leaving a job is a big decision, one that can impact the rest of your career journey.
We’re currently in the middle of what’s been called “The Great Resignation.” According to Microsoft’s 2021 Work Trend Index, a survey of more than 30,000 people, 40% of people want to change jobs this year.
Even if you’re not part of this group, you’re likely to change jobs at some point in your life. The Balance reports the average person has three to seven careers over their lifetime, while younger generations like Millennials and Gen Z are even more likely to job-hop.
Breaking up with your job and moving on to something new is a meaningful event in your life. Use these tips to ensure a smooth transition when you change jobs.
1. Leave on Good Terms
The employer you’re leaving still has industry ties and may know current and future professional connections who could impact your career. While it might be tempting to “rage quit” a job you hate, it can be more beneficial to leave your employer on good terms. Consider the possible advantages:
- Your old employer could be a future reference when you’re on the job hunt.
- If you respect your employer, you might approach them to write you a LinkedIn recommendation or website testimonial.
- Your employer may have relationships with people who could influence your career.
- You might someday become a “boomerang employee,” one who decides to go back to your old employer.
Generally, a minimum of two weeks’ notice is requested if you’re going to leave your job, so your employer can find someone to replace you and/or you can train someone on your job duties before you leave.
Your employer may request that you give up access to certain work technology permissions or upload specific documents before you leave. You’re still on the clock those last two weeks, so keep in mind that how you perform and follow directions can impact your reputation once you’re gone.
2. Request an Exit Interview
Having an exit interview with your soon-to-be-former manager and any other higher-ups can help you achieve closure as you leave your company. An exit interview is an opportunity to:
- Let your former employer know how they helped you in your career journey
- Provide your former employer with valuable feedback that may benefit your former coworkers who are still working there
- Enable you to leave with dignity and with professional relationships
During your exit interview, you can express your desire to keep in touch professionally, on a network like LinkedIn. You can also express your appreciation so that your employer views you as an asset to be missed and someone they’d recommend in the future.
3. Keep Old Relationships Intact
When you leave a job, you leave more than your work. You say goodbye to team members and coworkers you might want to maintain relationships with post- this employer.
Once you’ve given your notice, let coworkers you want to stay in contact with know you’re leaving and when your end date is. Think about what type of relationship you’d like to have with certain people outside of work. Now can be a great time to:
- Add coworkers as new connections on LinkedIn.
- Ask coworkers and mentors you respect if they’d consider writing you a LinkedIn recommendation and/or testimonial on your website. Offer to do the same for them, if appropriate.
- Exchange contact information, like a personal email or social media handle, if you’d like.
- Go to lunch or after-work happy hour one last time.
Coworker relationships may blur the line into friendships. Stay aware that former coworkers are still part of your professional network. You may want to avoid venting or badmouthing your former employer, since word could get back to the company and tarnish a potential future relationship.
4. Start a New Job Off on the Right Foot
If you have a start date for a new job, you have an opportunity to make a great first impression and begin your time there on a positive note. If you have some time between your last day at your old job and your first day at your new job, you might consider taking time off to do something relaxing, like taking a vacation or investing in self-care. That way, you begin your new job refreshed and ready to get to work.
In addition to getting acclimated to company policies and procedures, make sure to build relationships with your new manager and team members. Learn about what their strengths are to see how you can best contribute in your new role.
When you begin your new job, talk with your manager about creating a career development plan that includes your career goals and steps you can take to achieve certain objectives. A career development plan will give you actions to grow your career and meaningfully contribute to your company.
Also, be aware of cultivating the 4 E’s in your new job: energy, excitement, enjoyment and engagement. Look for ways to use your strengths, learn new skills and build strong relationships with your coworkers that can help you along your career journey.
5. Position Yourself for Future Success
Whether you already have a new job lined up or you’re just beginning the hunt, take steps to build your professional profile. Wherever you are on your career journey, consider doing the following.
- Expand your skill set. Take a class, get a certification or study a new in-demand skill online.
- Update your resume and LinkedIn page with your current achievements and skills.
- Create and practice an elevator pitch you can use to introduce yourself professionally outside of work environments.
- Build new relationships to expand your network. Strengthen current relationships in your existing network.
- Be mindful of what you post online. Consider making social media profiles private. Search yourself online to see if there are public posts that could harm your professional reputation.
A strong network and professional profile are important to have at any time during your career. They can help you secure a new job and ensure you stay at top of mind when notable opportunities arise.
Thinking about a new job?
If you’re on the search for a better career, AccruePartners can help. We work with reputable companies that need talent like you. Explore our career portal to find a new job.