For every story about a successful transition from one job to another or a business opportunity, there is another story about a stressful job transition. Contrary to popular belief, quitting your job is not as easy as the movies make it look. It can be terrifying, exhilarating, uncertain or all of these at the same time. Sometimes it is the product of days, months and years of agonizing over whether the decision to quit is the right decision. For other people, it can be the product of a whim, a gut feeling that the grass is greener on the other side. There is no right or wrong way to arrive at that decision but there are intelligent steps you can take as you work towards your transition. The key thing is, that once you make up your mind to leave the job, have the courage to follow through with your decision.
Find your “why” before you leave
Difficult bosses have been known to be among the leading reason as to why people quit their jobs. While it is true that there are bosses that are impossible to work with, there is another side of the coin. Some employees place unreasonable expectations on their bosses making the work environment stressful. Before you leave your current position, you need to ask yourself the hard questions:
- Why do you want to leave your job?
- Are your reasons detached from any pending emotional matters that you have not dealt with?
- If there are steps you could take towards improving your experience at your current position, would you take them and evaluate the outcome before making your decision?
Draft a transition plan
I have met candidates with noticeable gaps in their CV’s which is often as a result of leaving a job without having a proper transition plan in place. A typical transition plan answers the following questions:
- Are there any pending projects/ tasks you need to complete before your final day at your job?
- When will each of these projects or tasks be handed over to your successor?
- What are opportunities are you eyeing after you leave?
- Do you have a proper plan with clear objectives and set timelines to help you pursue other opportunities?
- Do you have a financial plan in place to cater for your pursuit of other opportunities?
You may not be able to cover all the bases but you can anticipate as much as you can and plan ahead. If you have a mentor, let him or her help you with this process.
Give notice to your employer
If you have a contract with your employer, go through it and find out if you are supposed to give a certain amount of notice before you quit your job. In some organizations, failure to serve sufficient notice can have a direct impact on your terminal benefits. It is important to serve notice as it allows your employer to have sufficient time to find a replacement. If there are specific skills you acquired through experience, the notice period allows you to transfer those skills to your successor.
Hand in your resignation letter
Forget about those cheesy videos of employees who made emotional videos and sent them to their bosses as a resignation letter. They only work if you are out to become an internet celebrity after you quit job. Your resignation letter should be a precisely drafted legal document that informs your employer that you will no longer be offering your services to the organization after a certain date. You do not have to delve into the details as to why you quit your job. Keep it short, polite and formal. Outline any transition plan you are willing to make and implement. Express your gratitude to your boss for the opportunity.
Schedule a meeting with your boss about your exit
This may be the most difficult part of exiting from your current position but it is necessary. Have a short meeting with your boss and inform him/her that you will no longer be working for the organization. Future employers may seek a recommendation from your former boss so it is important to leave in good terms.
Handle pending administrative matters
If your organization has a well-established HR department, you may be required to attend an exit interview. Attend the interview and keep your criticism concise and constructive. Fill in the paperwork that you may be required to fill in to cater for things such as your retirement benefits and your health insurance. Clear with all the departments you need to clear with. Let your colleagues, particularly your successor, know that you are leaving. You may not have a good experience at the organization but that does not mean you cannot positively influence those who still work for the organization. Share the lessons you have learned from your job with your colleagues.
The only way to move forward is to step forward. Once you have left your job, embrace what’s ahead of you. It will be terrifying at times. It will be heartbreaking and exciting at other times. It may not work out after the first, second and third attempts. However, it pans out, embrace it, learn from it and go for it. There is no loss in trying and failing but failure to try due to fear of loss is the biggest loss.
Good luck with your exit!
Do you mind taking a short survey about your previous exit from your job? It would mean so much to us. Click the link below and answer the questions.
If you are on verge of changing careers, do check out our website, Crystal Recruitment a leading recruitment agency in Kenya for opportunities that we have and apply today!