I hope you had a wonderful weekend! The weather in much of the country has been beautiful the past few days. I hope you’ve had the opportunity to enjoy it.
If you missed my newsletter last week, please be sure to check it out here. I tried making a few adjustments to the that may have prevented you from receiving it. In it, I covered summer job search strategies and discussed my recent interview with job website Glassdoor.com’s Career Trends Analyst, Scott Dobroski. In particular, I show you how to research company salaries on Glassdoor.
This week, I want to know – What’s your exit strategy?
With the unstable economy we’ve been experiencing for years now, keeping an exit strategy in mind is a must. Do you have yours nailed down? If your exit strategy is dependent on hope and crossed fingers, it’s time to rethink things.
Ideally, you shouldn’t wait until signs of trouble to plan your next career move. But, at a minimum, when those signs appear, it’s time to move. In some industries, you may experience what’s known as a RPE – a “resume producing event.” It could come in the form of an intense company meeting, or other warning signs that your organization could be in trouble.
If you ignore these signs and wait, you become a sitting duck. You lose your power of negotiation because when you look for a new job, you have no choice but to find one. You’ve given up all your leverage.
Getting ahead of the game gives you increased negotiating power and the time to wait for the right opportunity.
Here are a few tips to create your very own exit strategy:
- Always keep your resume up to date – You never know when the right opportunity could come along. Even if your job is great, wouldn’t you consider a job that offered twice the pay? You always want to be prepared because you never know what might happen. The other advantage is you don’t have to go back and remember important facts later. Keep track of them as they’re happening!
- Always participate in LinkedIn – If you only update your LinkedIn profile when you’re looking for a job, it’s a dead give away that something’s up. Keeping your LinkedIn profile continuously fresh can help to quiet suspicions.
- Keep it quiet – It can be so tempting to share that you’re looking for another job. Your best friend at work is sitting right next to you and they’re equally frustrated. You don’t want to leave your awesome boss in the lurch. Although you have good intentions, they can backfire. Even a manager who considers you to be a friend often feels obligated to tell their supervisor. Worst case scenario, you can be walked out of the building when your news leaks. This takes your power away and reduces your timeline, so keep your lips sealed.
- Stay connected with your old coworkers – When you start searching, you’ll need references from your previous employers. It’s important to keep in touch with your former managers, coworkers, and employees, so you’ll have a bank of folks to offer when it’s time to do a background check.
- Keep your certifications up to date – Don’t rely on your current employer to keep your education up to date. Attend courses, take webinars, and look for other opportunities to continue your learning. It will benefit you when you are interviewing for your next big opportunity.
- Keep working and follow the rules – Keep delivering the same high quality of work you do every day. Follow company guidelines and rules. Although you may want to run from the building, this is the not the time to slack off. Show that you will produce the same high quality of work, regardless of the situation.
- Take personal items home – Slowly and quietly, take some of your personal belongings home. The last thing you’ll want on your last day is to carry out boxes and boxes of things that have piled up at your desk over the years.
- Research your company’s vacation policy – Many employers will reimburse you for the time you don’t take. Find out in advance what vacation you’ll be reimbursed for, if any.
- Taken inventory of your finances – If worst came to worst, would you be prepared to be unemployed for six months? For many job seekers, this timeline is a reality. Look closely at your finances to ensure you’ll be able to survive if you had to.
- Leave on good terms – When you do finally leave, do it in a positive way. Give at least two weeks notice and keep your word. Think very carefully before you bash your boss in an exit interview. Put in your best work until your very last day.
Leaving can be a tough process. Many people look at changing jobs like a breakup or divorce. Do your best to be prepared, so you can walk toward a better situation rather than just running from a bad one. It will help you keep your peace of mind and it will give you negotiating power in your interview process.
I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search.
Author: Angela Copeland
Angela Copeland is Founder and Coach for Copeland Coaching, a great way to jump start your job search. Follow her on Twitter @CopelandCoach for tips on finding the perfect job for you.