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How to Prepare Your Exit Strategy for Your Career Change 

Published on July 19, 2021

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You’ve got your business plan in one hand, your investment in the other, and now it’s time to leave your current career behind and transition to the next phase of your working life. In order to do that however you need to let your boss know you are leaving. It can be a stressful moment, and it’s almost impossible to know how they will take it.

One thing that can help however is to plan out an exit strategy beforehand. This strategy will not only help you prepare for what’s ahead, but help you leave the old job behind with as much grace and professionalism as possible as well.  Here are some tips on how to make it run smoothly. 

Pick a date: It’s important to give yourself a deadline to meet because it not only gives you a goal, but it allows you to plan out all the small stuff too.

You don’t have to tell anyone that you are leaving right away, but a deadline gives you a chance to plan backwards and leave enough time for appropriate notice and a week or two vacation before starting something new.  

Start saving: As soon as you know you are leaving, it’s time to start stockpiling as much money as you can and getting your finances in order. Cut out any unnecessary spending, including eating out and extra luxuries you don’t really need. 

You could even clean out your home and sell items that have just been sitting in a corner, gathering dust. The sooner you start this, the better, because there are always unexpected surprises when it comes to money and things don’t always go as planned. 

Consult your support system: Talking out your plan with your support system will help build your confidence and make the change that much easier.

You don’t just want a group of yes-people as your confidants either, you need individuals who are unbiased who will ask you the tough questions. 

Be flexible: When you are getting ready to leave your job, and have started making plans to do so, the last thing you want to acknowledge is the possibility that your planned date needs to change. Maybe there is a deadline at work that they really need your help with before you go, or maybe something happened, and you had to spend some of your savings.

Whatever the case, don’t let it get you down. These things happen and exit plans can be modified as needed.  

Tell as few people as possible: Your exit strategy is just that, yours. As stated above you should consult your support group, but beyond that, no one else needs to know.

The more people who know, the less control you will have. For instance, if word gets around at your current company that you are leaving, they may start looking for your replacement sooner than you’d want. The more people who know, the less flexible you can be as well because they will be expecting your move. No one needs to know until you are ready, and the date is close. 

Don’t burn bridges: This one can be tough, especially if things have gone sour over the last little while. Still, it never hurts to play nice and keep your options open for the future. After all, you never know when you might run into them again or need a reference. 

To make your departure as easy as possible give the proper notice, tell your boss in person that you are quitting, try to keep things positive, keep it brief and offer to help train your replacement or coworkers on how to do your job.  It’s also important to say goodbye to your coworkers, even those you might not have gotten along with. 

Avoid coasting: As tempting as it may be, don’t relax your work ethic because you know you are leaving. By continuing to work hard, you are showing your soon-to-be-former employer that you are thankful for the chance they’d given you and it will help you avoid any negative feelings. This also includes avoiding doing research for your new business during company hours, or reaching out to connections using company computers or phones. 

Use up your benefits: If you have a benefit plan through your work, the weeks leading up to your departure is the perfect time to take advantage of it. Go to the dentist, get new glasses or that massage you’ve been wanting. From here on in you will be the one paying for these things personally, so why not get what you can before leaving?  

Everyone’s exit strategy will be different, and will depend on the circumstances surrounding their job, but by following these basics tips anyone can leave a job with minimal stress and optimism towards the future. 

Written by Team

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