Friday, March 9, 2012

How to Plan a Career 15: When to Leave Your Company

Leaveing Your JobThis concludes our series on planning a career within your current employer

Previous posts helped you identify opportunities for growth within your current company. In addition, we discussed how to open the opportunities through business relationships, your network of contacts, and a mentor. Sharing home run statements with your supervisor and other connections allows them to see how you can help them obtain their project, operations, or team goals. Yet, for all that the time may come when you need to leave your current employer.

Reasons to Leave You Current Employer

You may find several reasons for leaving your current company:

  • Changes in management or ownership make the culture unappealing to you
  • Opportunities for growth or satisfaction cease to exist within the company
  • Possibilities for more growth or satisfaction present themselves elsewhere
  • Friends or acquaintances from your past ask you to join them somewhere else
  • Directions and interests you once wanted to achieve no longer drive you
  • Economic difficulties force the company to layoff employees
  • Behaviors and poor performance create situations that lead to your termination

Plan Your Departure Well

The following checklist may improve your departure and future prospects:

  • Delay your departure until you accept a new job—if possible
  • Maintain good relationships with your supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates
  • Provide non-offensive and non-inflammatory reasons for leaving
  • Express appreciation for the experiences, training, and opportunities they gave you
  • Assure them you will respect the confidence they placed in you and not jeopardize it
  • Ask for a letter of recommendation from the person who gives the best reference
  • Identify options for continuing health benefit, dental, and life benefits
  • Understand severance or unemployment benefits you may receive
  • Transition and protect your 401K or other pension benefits—don’t touch them
  • Download emails, contacts, and calendar to a safe location and delete personal items
  • Reconcile all outstanding expense reports, commissions, bonuses, or obligations
  • Consult a legal expert about written or verbal contracts
  • Submit change of address and mail forwarding (if applicable)
  • Keep your doors open and maintain contact

Monday we will begin a new series exploring barriers that may prohibit future career growth

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