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When you're fed up with your job,
it can be tempting to do something big and dramatic.
To yell, "I quit!" during a meeting and peace out,
or post a video on social media calling out your former employer.
But quitting well can actually be an opportunity for growth.
[The Way We Work]
Quitting well is important, clearly,
because it impacts many of us at some point in our career
and because there are some bridges you just don't want to burn.
Every industry is its own small world, and word can travel fast.
Quitting well is also important for you.
It's a time where you can practice caring for yourself
and really clarify what you want and need
when it comes to your future work life.
Here's how to leave your job with courage, confidence, and clarity.
First, I want you to find courage in leaving your job.
That requires some reflecting.
The people I work with rarely go through the job search process
because they want more money.
There's almost always a deeper reason why they're moving on.
I want you to be able to identify exactly what that is.
So what about this job felt out of alignment
with your goals and values?
What tasks and experiences did you enjoy,
and which of your skills and strengths felt underutilized?
What would make for a better fit in a work environment?
By pinning down those deeper issues,
you can come back to them any time you feel unsure or scared.
Once you've asked those big questions,
make a checklist for what you want in your next role.
Now prioritize your list.
Maybe you feel drawn to work for a mission-driven company
but don't care as much about its size.
Maybe you'd be cool with a commute
for the right opportunity to really grow in a role.
Maybe you value decision-making responsibilities
but don't rank creativity as highly.
Maybe you’re interested in a particular benefit, such as equity,
and would be willing to rank salary a little lower.
One thing I found to be really helpful is to imagine the strongest, boldest,
most courageous version of yourself
and ask, “What would that version of me be doing next
if there was nothing in their way?"
The goal with this question isn't to figure out everything for your career
for the next 20 years.
It's just too big.
Instead, try to identify that step
that will point you in the right direction,
the one that will give you courage.
And once you have it in mind, I want you to set some goals,
but not outcome-based ones like, find a new job in three months
or get a position in a major tech company.
Instead, I want you to set process-based goals
as they're much more within your locus of control.
A great goal could be,
"Every week, I want to reach out to someone new in my industry or network"
or “Every day for the next 90 days,
I want to dedicate 45 minutes to my job search."
You want to create great habits while you pursue your goals.
You'll be more likely to achieve the outcomes you want.
Second, I want you to have confidence in leaving your job.
That means digging into the details.
If you're leaving before having another job lined up,
start by doing a financial checkup
so you know how much it costs you to live each month.
Total up all your non-negotiable expenses to get that baseline figure
and try to have three to six months in savings
so you have a safety net and can handle emergencies.
If you're in a country like the United States,
where health insurance is often tied to your job,
look into all of your options
and get clear on what kind of plan will be best for you.
And while you're at it,
comb through the nitty gritty of your package
and know what vacation time and bonuses you'll be owed
and how long you'll have to cash in any stock options.
Essentially, this step is all about getting a holistic view
of what your new financial reality will be,
so there are no surprises.
Once you've reflected on what's next, gotten ready on the financial end,
that should bring you to the place where you can leave your job with clarity.
When you give notice, make sure to give the right amount of time.
Two weeks is customary in most places,
but it may depend on your role and any new projects.
Talk to your manager about how you can close things out on a good note
and consider putting together a transition memo
with the details on all of your responsibilities
so others can step in and take them over.
As you're getting ready to leave,
think about strengthening relationships.
Invite those people you're close to for lunch or coffee
and tell them your plans.
Get their personal contact information,
and lay the groundwork to stay in touch and really do it.
So many people don't.
And while you're at it,
reach out to those senior leaders you’ve always wanted to connect with
but never have.
Ask them if they have a few minutes to chat.
If you feel nervous about it,
just be authentic and let curiosity be your guide.
Why do you want to know this person?
What do you hope to learn from them?
Share that and there will likely be an open door,
which is great because these relationships and connections
can be so powerful to carry forward.
If you have the resources,
I also invite you to consider taking a career break,
whether it's a couple of weeks or a couple of months.
I’ve seen a lot of clients do this, and it can be so powerful.
It puts you in an active position, sure of what you want
and willing to wait for it
rather than limiting your options to what's available right now.
So instead of jumping right into looking for a job,
take that time to debrief.
Start sharing what you're looking for with your network.
It's much more likely that your next step will come through your network
than through applications.
Don't worry about specific titles or specific companies.
Just give them the vision of what you're looking to do
and what your priorities are.
This will help them get creative
in thinking about where you could be a good fit.
And get them to think of you when they hear things
that could be a match.
Give them the broad target
rather than limiting it to a tiny bullseye.
If this feels icky,
and it often does when it comes to networking,
remember: it’s a two-way street.
You can help them achieve their goals, too.
And you might be surprised what opportunities can come
as a result of these conversations.
Perhaps they recommend you for a role at their company,
giving you a much better chance at landing an interview.
Or maybe they mention you to someone else who can open doors for you.
The bottom line is that leaving a job,
it's a chance to get to know yourself better.
It has the power to shake up the status quo
and help you see those things that might not be so obvious.
So my advice is to hone in on what matters,
and from there, you'll be able to chart your path.