When Quitting is Your Best Option: How to Create Your Exit Strategy

Exit Strategy

Learn some effective exit strategy to leave you current job. 

Do you think it’s time to quit your job?  Prior to making this decision, it’s important to explore all angles and ensure that quitting is the best choice.  If you are certain that you want to quit, do you have an exit strategy?  Today, many people leave an organization within two years of employment.  This is in stark contrast to career trends within the last decade, when employees usually stayed in positions for longer periods of time. 

How you leave one job sets the tone for your transition into your next position. While you may dream of telling a manager or co-worker your thoughts on how they could improve or have a better environment, resist the urge to speak negatively.  At work, keep your thoughts focused on what you can control.  Here are five tips for creating your exit strategy. 

Exit Strategy Tips

1. Schedule the dates on your calendar

When planning to leave your job, there are more dates to consider than just the day you put in your resignation.  Think about any other preparations you want to make.  Some companies will ask you to leave immediately after receiving your notice, so have your finances in order first.  If you have another position lined up, make note of your start date there.  Taking at least one week off between positions can help you relax and spend some time doing things you enjoy.    

2. Consult your support system

Share your plan with one or a select few people in your career support system.  These individuals should be non-biased and could include a colleague, mentor, or career coach.  Having someone else review your exit strategy can help when thinking about areas you may have missed.  They can also ask tough questions such as, “Do you have the money to take care of yourself if events don’t go as planned?”

3. Stay calm

It’s important to be calm throughout the transition process.  Once some life science professionals have begun planning to quit, they can become emotionally reactive and leave too soon before they have their exit strategy in place.  It’s also common for employees to become triggered or upset on their actual resignation day.  You may be working in a toxic environment that becomes even more negative once you give your notice.  Practice a brief, vague response to give if you are asked questions by other co-workers.

4. Be flexible

Being adaptable to change is one of the most difficult things to do when you want to quit your job.  If your working environment is extremely draining, it’s easy to get attached to a particular resignation date.  Make an effort to resist this type thinking!  Many exit strategies have had to be modified in some way before you can implement them.  Usually this involved pushing the resignation date back, to ensure you have a comfortable amount of money in savings. 

5. Keep quiet

Staying mum is the most important tip because it can literally make or break your exit strategy!  If no one knows what you are planning then you are in an ideal position to change the strategy, dates, or decision to quit at all.  The more people who are aware of your plan the harder it is to focus on your ultimate goal.  If possible, don’t tell anyone within your current company.  This can be hard if you’re very close to your colleagues, but knowing someone is about to quit is just too juicy for most people to keep to themselves.

Making the decision to quit your job can be difficult.  Once you’re sure that you want to move forward in a different direction, making an exit strategy is beneficial.  Successful professionals can confidently transition between positions because they value themselves and their time.  For a smooth career transition, create and implement an exit strategy!            

Reference: One Last Chance: What to Do Before Quitting Your Job!

Porschia Parker is a Certified Coach, Professional Resume Writer, and Founder of Fly High Coaching. She empowers ambitious professionals and motivated executives to add $10K on average to their salaries.

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