So, you've been in a position for a few years and you've come to the realization that it's just not where you want to be. Or you've been killing it, bringing in top numbers, getting good reviews but still haven't been promoted. Maybe you've been in an industry that's just not a good fit and you want to finally pursue your passion.
Start with these five steps to gracefully exit and successfully transition into your next career opportunity:
1. Set An Exit Date
When you set a date, it adds accountability and gives you something to look forward to. Be realistic and consider factors like your current financial status, the type of industry you're in, the current climate at your office, and how much more you can take. Also, the joy of knowing that you plan to make a move will give you that confidence boost you need when something happens at work that reminds you why you're leaving in the first place.
2. Set Actionable Goals
Create actionable daily and weekly goals that will help you get to the job or company you want. Whether it's enrolling in courses for certificates, seeking out knowledge that will make you more marketable, or committing to sending at least 10 resumes a week, be sure you're actively working toward your goal daily or weekly. Keep track of your efforts via journal or log them electronically in a Google calendar. Set alerts and reminders, and include an accountability partner such as a career coach, mentor or trusted friend.
3. Keep Showing Up
Remember your why and continue doing excellent work at your current job. Knowing the purpose of your efforts and focusing on excellence will ensure you leave your current job in good standing. The current job is paying your bills and you should think of it as a blessing. When at work, remain professional and continue to take advantage of opportunities to expand your knowledge and soft skills. Great recommendations or reputation will only help you in the long run.
4. Network, Network, Network
Attend networking events and join organizations related to the industry you want to transition into. Not only will this boost your spirits and present opportunities to socialize with like-minded professionals, but you might also come across the job opening of your dreams. Commit to attending at least two networking events a month. Also, create your own personal business cards and carry resumes if the event is focused on new openings.
5. Stack Your Coins
Stack your money and save it in an exit fund. You may find that you simply want to resign, relocate, or take some time off to truly examine what you love. While working, set aside funds via an online bank or savings account that you won't be tempted to tap into. Keep track of your retirement account and the company contributions in case you need to one day tap into your 401K. You can also consult with a financial adviser or a professional at your bank to set a savings goal for the day you are ready to make your move. Having a lump sum to fall back on is yet another confidence boost for the days you loathe going to work every day.
Take charge of your career by being the master of it. Creating an exit strategy will make things that much easier for you when you're ready to say goodbye to your current gig.
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