Part 1 of the How to Quit Your Job series addressed several tips for leaving your job with class and respect in pursuit of a more fulfilling path. Part 2 continues the effort to provide actionable steps towards taking this leap of faith:
Tip #6 – Stay in Touch with Your Colleagues
When I left my job, one of my bosses told me to stay in touch. She said, “you never know, maybe you’ll be a boomerang someday like me.” In other words, my boss had left the firm for several years and ultimately returned for a second stint with the company. Despite my strong conviction that I wouldn’t be following in her footsteps, I nodded and consented that “I have no idea what the future holds.” Part of me wanted to say, “Hell no, never in a million years am I ‘boomeranging’ back here.” I refrained from voicing my true feelings because it would’ve been incredibly rude. But also, because the truth is, I don’t know what the future holds. It never hurts to keep your options open. Building and maintaining personal and professional relationships – your network – is essential. Of course, you need to demonstrate your value and merit as well. But talent and skill will only get you so far. Luck, connections, and timing are of equal, if not greater importance. Your network need not be inauthentic or utterly time consuming, but should be treated as an important variable in the ever-complex career equation. Stay in touch with your colleagues. You never know where the road may lead you…
Tip #7 – Finish the Job on a High Note
Soon after I submitted my Two Weeks Notice and sent my Farewell Address e-mail, one of my coworkers approached me and expressed surprise that I was still hard at work. She said she would have mentally checked out after submitting her resignation notice. The implication was that she was only working hard for a high-performance rating, or because it was the prudent thing to do in order to win a promotion. I explained that it was important for me to finish strong because it’s the right thing to do.
Strive to achieve because you’re intrinsically motivated, not because you’re merely seeking external rewards. Work hard and deliver because you’re a baller with high character, not because you’re seeking someone else’s approval or greater compensation. Many people checkout. Be different than those people.
Tip #8 – Have a Going-Away Celebration
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Celebrate your time with the company at a going away party, dinner, or happy hour. Reminisce on the good times, and maybe even more of the bad times. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying some group therapy over beer and nachos. A going-away event provides closure to this chapter of your life and career, as well as an opportunity to bid farewell to your colleagues. Make a speech if you’re up for it and have the confidence to grab the microphone (or makeshift beer bottle mic). Oh, and for old time’s sake, get the company to pick up the tab one last time!
Tip #9 – Take a Deep Breath, You Can Start Anew
You’ve escaped your oppressive job and the future is bright. Jump for joy and be glad knowing that you have a fresh start. You see life in a whole new light and feel like the world is your oyster. Pause for a minute and embrace this feeling of freedom. Reflect on what you’ve accomplished: you managed to unplug your wires and say “no more” to your cubicle. But there’s no guaranteeing that you won’t return. Perhaps it may help to remember why you left in the first place. Recall the day-to-day drudgery, droning away at your desk, watching your fellow bots lifelessly plug away. Many bots have been sleepwalking for years now, even decades. Now contrast this feeling of unfulfillment with how great it feels to realize your newfound freedom. We know good jobs in relation to bad ones.
Your options are endless, which is both a blessing and a curse. You won’t have anything handed to you, and you best not rest on your laurels. Chart a new, more satisfying course for your life. Do something that energizes you and drives you to get out of bed in the morning. Pursue that dream with all of your being, knowing that at the end of the day you won’t have any regrets. Fight for the life and career you want to lead. Your goal is within reach, you just need to work for it!
Tip #10 – Just Do It – Move Forward and Don’t Look Back
Learn from your experiences, but don’t dwell on them. Always continue to move forward in pursuit of your next great challenge and opportunity. Begin searching for a vocation – something you feel called to do – rather than a mere job. Your ideal vocation will combine your talents, skills, and interests. Above all, move forward with confidence knowing that good things come to the bold and the brave.