Believe it or not, there’s a fantasy that is shared by almost every single client (and it has nothing to do with 50 Shades of Grey). It’s the “I Quit!” fantasy. It’s the moment when you can’t take it anymore and you snap. You fantasize about bursting into your boss’s office, tossing a stack of papers in the air, grabbing your purse, and storming out of the building never to be seen or heard from again.
Does this fantasy sound familiar?
The reality is that change is hard, and putting together an effective and proactive job search can be paralyzing. The problem is when these challenges become so overwhelming that you end up allowing the knowledge of knowing you need to leave, and the resentment of overstaying your welcome, to reach the dangerous breaking point.
Everyone has heard the saying, “timing is everything”, and that couldn’t be truer than in this scenario. Ideally, you want to leave on your own terms, in your own way, with your integrity intact, and with relationships preserved – not with your boss calling for security and escorting you out in handcuffs.
Knowing when it’s time to move on is an important factor in creating the career path of your dreams.
There are three key reasons why people don’t make a move when they should:
- Complete Denial
Even though the signs may be obvious to everyone else, some people refuse to acknowledge what’s right in front of them. They view their work environment through rose-colored glasses rather than see the reality that their company is filing for bankruptcy, their boss is abusive, or they have plateaued professionally.
- Fear of Change
For a lot of people, fear of change can be paralyzing. They know it’s probably time to leave, but a known work environment is more comfortable than an unknown work environment. They know their co-workers, the office processes and procedures, and what’s expected of them. Walking into a new job and starting over can be a major obstacle when it comes to proactively making a move.
- Lack of a Plan
A critical element to making a successful change is having a plan – knowing what you want to do, where you want to go, and how you’re going to get there. Changing jobs is one of those major life transitions that no one is taught how to do. Most people don’t know how to write an effective resume, initiate a proactive job search, or deliver a dynamic presentation in an interview. Lacking a roadmap and a plan makes career changes very difficult.
Because timing is everything, it’s also time to embrace the fact that you have a lot of control over your career path. It’s time to shift from the role of passive professional floating from position to position, accepting what’s merely in front of you, and become the proactive and empowered professional who doesn’t let obstacles hinder success.
Knowing when the time is right to quit your job is important. You don’t want to overstay your welcome at a party, and you certainly don’t want to stay in a job longer than you should. But how do you know when it’s time to give your resignation?
Here are 10 signs that it may be time to look for another job:
- Your company is restructuring and downsizing.
- You are excluded from key projects, meetings, and decisions.
- Your boss feels threatened and tries to sabotage your success.
- Your ideas are no longer listened to or considered.
- Your core values are not aligned with the company culture.
- Your advancement opportunities are non-existent.
- You’re no longer challenged and growing professionally.
- You don’t receive the support and resources you need to be successful.
- Your key responsibilities are being distributed to others.
- You have lost your passion and your “Dream Job” becomes available at another company.
Just like television shows carefully plan their finales, so should you when it comes to resigning. Knowing “how” to leave is just as important as knowing “when” to leave. Ideally, you want to leave just as MASH, Friends, and the Sopranos did…on top and leaving your company wanting more.
You build your reputation while working at an organization, but you can negatively impact your reputation if you don’t leave the right way. Regardless of the reasons for your resignation, it’s always in your best interest to take the high road and leave with your professional integrity intact.
Here are five ways to make sure you leave on a high note:
- Tell your boss and other key players before you make a public announcement.
- Provide your official 2 weeks’ notice in writing to Human Resources.
- Prepare a succession plan so your responsibilities can be easily assumed and understood by others.
- Schedule an exit interview to end on the best terms.
- Keep the lines of communication open, because you never know when your paths will cross again.
Ending a relationship is never easy, whether it’s personal or professional, but sometimes it’s necessary. Don’t let denial, fear of change, or lack of planning put your future on hold. Remember, timing is everything: if you know when the time is right to move on and take
Remember, timing is everything: if you know when the time is right to move on and take time to prepare your exit, you will have time to enjoy a fresh, fulfilling career path.