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5 Tips to Leaving Your Job

There are many reasons you would leave your job. Not all of them are due to discontent or a better opportunity. Sometimes a spouse will get a job cross country causing you to follow, other times you might move laterally for a company you feel more passionate about working for. Either way, you hopefully a strong lead with another company, initial and follow-up interviews in the books before you have to leave.

The problem here is how you need to balance a few separate needs, wants, and protocols. You have your current workplace, your prospective employer, and yourself. You need to focus on your future while keeping in mind the professional and moral implications of spurning anyone in the process. Damage could occur when leading on a potential employer, taking on a project you won't complete at your current position, and being anything but candid on all fronts throughout the process. Your reputation is more important than your resume and integrity starts with your first job and follows throughout your career. If your current position or the one you are interviewing for is not the one you want, be honest. Even when you are looking for new work and need to find a job quickly, talk openly and ask for constructive input about what you do want. You could be surprised by the information and help you'll get from professionals who were once in your position.

1. Keep Up the Good Work

Even though you may be leaving your job, you need to keep up the quality work on what you are getting paid to do. Don't use your time at the office to be searching for another job and don't be taking too much time off to go interview. Being absent figuratively or literally is an excellent way to destroy relationships during your last days with a company.

2. Keep In Contact

A large part of any professional legacy hinges on people being able to trust you. If you can leave an organization with a great reputation, there is a good chance to further the personal and business relationship with them far after your time is over. You could even end up getting a better offer from a former company in the future if they see how you've grown and want you back. Companies hire within, but they pay closer attention to those with which they have had a positive track record in the past.

3. Learn From Your Elders

A great part of maintaining a positive relationship from day one is how your boss and co-workers can become great mentors if the relationship is fostered. Many supervisors know and even don't want people to stay at the first position they take with a company. They want you to learn, grow and eventually move on to thrive. A transition out of a company is the last step of this process. A good boss will focus on your growth in a position, but a great boss will focus on your growth throughout life. Learn to recognize the difference between good and great mentors.

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4. Never Stop Networking

There is strength in numbers when you are looking to advance or changes lanes in your career. When you are searching for something new, you should team up with other like-minded, similarly professional individuals. 'Teaming up" is a great way to micro-network; talk with each other about the positions you are finding and share leads. You may find a position that feels like a no-go on your end that a friend may be excited about, and vice-versa. When you leave a job consider recommending someone you know to fill your position. If you are still young, talk to alumni from your place of higher education about your transition and also talk to newer graduates you have a connection to see if any of them would be interested in the position you are leaving open. Having someone else's back is always a good thing to do and what goes around often comes back around.

5. Get Your Face Time In

This may be especially hard to do in our digital world but interacting with someone in person shows a lot about you. It's easy to shoot off an email telling someone you're leaving or won't be joining them, but stopping by their office, taking them out for coffee, or scheduling a meeting allows for better dialogue. You may even end up getting a better offer or incentive to stay if you handle things this way rather than taking the easy way out. The worst thing you can do is have a "bad breakup". Don't be a fool and think the easiest way out is the right way out.