The Art Of Quitting (Or Staying)

Jenna Goudreau, who runs a diverse and informative women-oriented column on touches upon a very important subject in her recent article, The Dos And Don’ts Before Leaving Your Job. A study by insurance provider MetLife shows that 36% of workers are planning a fresh start in 2011. If you are one of them, there is a warning for you from career experts, including yours truly: when heading for the exit, “watch your step” and don’t make mistakes that may trip you up in the future.

For example, you should make sure your bosses and co-workers don’t see your departure as a let-down for the company and make the transition as smooth as possible.

“Workplace expert Lynn Taylor, author of Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant, suggests employees consider their response to a counter offer before they resign,”– the article says. But don’t be lured by money if there are deeper problems with the business or its management.

Whatever the situation might be, I advise against letting negative emotions fly – biting your tongue will increase your chances of a positive recommendation.

Another vital issue is prepping your replacement and following up after you leave. This responsibility, while important, should certainly be limited, and the article quotes my recommendations in this regard.

As the final step, I recommend spending some extra time to look around and tie up loose ends, making sure your “clean break” is literally clean.

The article – that you should read in its entirety – will help you if you are leaving your job, but have you given enough thought to this important step? Is it absolutely the only thing to do? In my recent article for Psychology Today I advise to “look before you leap.” Do this before making your current job a “thing of the past”:

Examine practical risks associated with leaving.

Create a “Solutions” document, to examine what can be done to improve your situation.

Make your “Skills Inventory” and see what additional skills you can offer in your current position.

Revert negative thinking and examine what’s right with your current job, instead of focusing on “wrongs.”

For more, read the complete article here.

Of course, sometimes moving on is the only way to move ahead. That’s why my next blog will be on When It’s Time to Leave Your Job. But for now, let’s have another look at our “bird in the hand” that for some reason we don’t like anymore.