When to go.
Many blogs provide advice on success in your job but one thing we don't read about much is knowing when and how to leave.
Contrary to myth adults don't typically huff and puff and storm off the job. We have too many constraints to simpy walk in a lá Johnny Paycheck and tell the boss to shove it. In fact, in 30 years the very few times I've ever seen people quit emotionally my employer was smart enough not to accept that until the person thought through what they were saying, and doing.
Yet like party guests at a neighbor's whom we know just slightly the art of the game is to leave at the right time staying neither too short to do any good or so long that we wear out our welcome.
When to Go
- If you are not staying current in your discipline because your job doesn't demand it, run. In technology, designers, engineers and coders won't stay anywhere that doesn't challenge them. Take a tip.
- Should your organization slow down and advancement opportunities dry up stay at your own peril. Some think loyalty will be rewarded: this is a myth. Your loyalty needs to be to your career.
- If you are not working for a market leader consider a change. GE, P&G and other global winners know you're either one or two in your market or you're gone. You be the same.
- Leadership foibles can have a drastic impact on your employability. As you advance in your career beware of staying long where leadership is short.
- Don't dabble. Commit to your work 110%, no one else needs to motivate you. But if you have real trouble opening the door every morning, start looking.
How to Go
- Be professional. The world is truly a networked place. Don't feel like now that you've decided to leave you can let it all hang out. Show up, every day, on time, and do your work. Act like a pro.
- Be ethical. Sure you can network during the workday, you'll probably have to. But don't use your employer's phone and computer, or set up meetings at your office (I've seen it). Be fair.
- Be positive. If you're leaving that's great: remember just about everyone else is staying at least for now. Don't bad mouth your boss, colleagues, products, etc. People remember the way you left. Be nice.
- Be reasonable. Offer your employer notice, but don't be surprised or hurt if they don't accept it: more companies today have policies that won't let them. Its not you, its them. Plan ahead and budget.
- Be aware. Once you do announce your departure you are done. Nobody needs your input anymore as your phone stops ringing and meeting invites cease. Get your work done before you submit notice. Nobody gives a damn after.
Everyone leaves employers sooner or later, its part of career growth. Just make sure you leave for the right reasons and in the right way so people feel good about you during and afterwards.
Knowing when to end something is important.
Knowing how to end it is important too.