While companies all over the country are recovering from The Great Resignation of 2021 and figuring out ways to keep employees happy (hello, 4-day work week) there’s a whole new batch of employees quietly plotting their exit. They just aren’t ready to leave yet.
I remember feeling like this in 2019. I was a burned-out TV news anchor with what felt like no way out. I was growing more and more tired of the work but didn’t put any real effort in creating an exit plan. I was ready, but I needed guidance on how to detach myself from a career I didn’t enjoy. I hired a coach in 2020 and she helped me get out of my head and put my exit plan together to get out of my career. Now, it’s my life’s work to help people get themselves ready for change as a life and career coach, and my first bit of advice for those itching for a career change is to set a date. Let’s go ahead and do it now.
What about early 2023? It’s far enough away your brain won’t start doing flips and it’s also a prime hiring time, according to indeed.com. Hiring managers have fresh budgets, the holiday slump is over and old job posts need to be filled. It’s the perfect time for a candidate who’s spent the last nine months getting ready for this moment to start shopping jobs. Here are five ways to prepare for your exit next year.
Be sure you want to leave
In order to pull this off you’ve got to be all in; your mind is made up and you are moving forward with no regrets. One way to get to this point is to make sure you’ve sought out all the opportunities where you are and have explored ways you can improve your workflow or relationships at your current job. Once you’ve looked under every rock and pitched all your good ideas you’ll either be tempted to give it another shot or 100 percent sure you’re no longer a good match for the job and can move on with certainty.
The one-foot-in, one-foot-out strategy
Once you’re certain it’s time to go, you’ll have to master what I call the one-foot-in, one-foot-out strategy. One-foot-in means you’re an engaged employee, showing up, showing out and doing the work. Remember: you need the time and the paycheck while you plan your exit. One-foot-out means you’re simultaneous in go-mode and committed to finding a way out. You’re actively researching leads, saving money, maybe hiring a career coach. You’ve got one foot out. Don’t lean too heavily on one foot or the other. You’ll need both in place at the same time.
Decide where you’re going to go
I work with clients every day who are sure they want a career change but struggle to really name what that change will be. It’s so important to get clear about your end goal: Do you want to switch from a nonprofit to a tech company? Go from sales to marketing? If you don’t know where to begin, understanding your career personality can help. The Holland Code Career Test, a free assessment, can get you thinking about all the possibilities.
Add tools to your tool box
You’ve bought yourself some time; might as well sharpen your skills so you’re an easy yes when you’re in front of a hiring manager again. Look into taking an online class or picking up that certificate you’ve put off. When I knew I wanted to start my own coaching business I immediately enrolled in life coach training. I was a news anchor by day (one foot in) and training to be a coach at night (one foot out.)
Money, Money, Money…
One of the greatest fears around leaving one job or career for the next is the possibility of losing money or not having enough money. Be proactive and create an exit fund now. It could serve you in a lot of ways in the future—like giving you a long runway of cash flow should you find yourself in between jobs longer than you expected or will just give you peace of mind as you begin to uproot yourself from a career and paycheck you’re familiar with.
If it feels too scary to leave a job you don’t love now, that’s okay. But don’t let that feeling keep you in a state of inaction. Set the date and start planning.
Story Credit: Letisha Bereola/www.coachtish.co (thegrio)
Photo Credit: Magnet.me/Unsplash