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5 Critical Steps to Take Before Quitting Your Job For Good

5 Critical Steps to Take Before Quitting Your Job For Good

Congrats! You have worked hard and you’re ready to transition into self-employment. It is an exciting transition in your path on quitting your job for good.  But before you go ahead and quit your job, there are some crucial steps you need to consider before taking the leap. Following these suggestions will not only make it easier when transitioning, but a happier experience for everyone involved.

1. Leave on a High Note

Think about how your boss would feel if you make a situation worse by being disrespectful. Sure, you may not like your job, but it is not fair to your coworkers or your boss if you are disrespectful when quitting. While you may have fantasized about telling your company how you really feel, but it could damage your reputation down the line, even if you are your own boss. Put yourself in your boss’ shoes: would you like an employee to treat you poorly or left a mess of their work that you have to pick up the pieces? Make it a point to be fully involved in your job up until the day you leave. That means completing a to-do list you meant to tackle, cleaning your desk, and keep yourself focused on your work.

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2. Create a Financial Plan for the Next 6 – 12 Months

Being your own boss means that you won’t have a steady income. Before quitting your job, you need to think about what your budget is in order to cover the essentials. It is also a good idea to save up money in case some months or slow, or no income is coming in at all. To start, write down a list of all the expenses you have. Items you should factor in -Cell phone -Rent/Mortgage -Food -Internet/utilities -entertainment -existing debt -health insurance -transportation After writing down what everything costs, take that amount and make sure you stick to it. There are lots of budgeting programs that you can use, or something as simple as a spreadsheet document on your computer will suffice. They key is sticking to the budget you set for yourself to ensure you don’t run into any financial trouble while self-employed. It is a good idea to get used to your new budget by making one and sticking to it a few months (if possible) before leaving your job. That way, you have time to adjust it if necessary before you no longer have your job.

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3. Make a Plan

Your side hustle may provide you with enough income to quit your job, but have you considered what you will do to continue your success? Think about where you plan on seeing your career in the next few years, and write your goals down.  Create goals to market yourself and your business, how to retain existing clients, what your ideal career is like, and any personal goals you want to achieve. Make your action plan as specific as possible and what your success criteria is. For example, if you plan on hiring on a virtual assistant to help with some back end work, make a goal on how much income your business needs to make in order to be able to afford that VA full time.

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4. Plan Out Healthy Habits and Routines

Making sure you are in tip top shape is important because you are now your business. If you are sick and cannot work, you will not pull in any income. Being unhealthy can also take a toll on your productivity and mood.  Sure, you may want to skip lunch and finish writing that proposal for a new client or fix your website, but something that may take you 20 minutes to do may take a few hours if your stomach keeps growling at you. Now that you can dictate your own schedule, make a point to pencil in some time for exercise during the week. Find a workout buddy if you need to get some accountability. Even taking 15 minutes a few times a day to stretch will do wonders for your mood and health. Don’t forget that eating well is part of a healthy routine. Don’t stock up on too much junk food or frozen dinners even if it is more convenient to prepare them. Make a meal plan and freeze meals ahead of time if you know you will be too busy to cook. Enlist the help of family members if you need to in order to make your health a priority. Set reminders on your phone or calender if you need to in order to make sure you stick to a healthy routine.

5. Create a Backup Plan

As much as we’d hate you admit it, sometimes life doesn’t go according to plan.  Your regular clients may suddenly decide they do not need your services. Maybe your business is not pulling in a profit for the past few months and your savings are dwindling. Perhaps there is an emergency in your family and you have to put off your travel plans. Take a look at what your plans are after you quit and list and possible worst-case scenarios. Write down what you might do if these crop up. Make up as many scenarios as you can think of and create a backup plan for each one. Talk to as many people who have forged the same path you have and see what their backup plans are. It could be moving back in with mom and dad, taking on part time work at McDonald’s, or changing up your marketing efforts.  As well, think about a time frame on when you will enact on your backup plan. What will be the deciding factor on knowing when your initial plans are not panning out? Clearly deciding on a success criteria early on will help you make those tough decision down the line.

Have you quit your job? What steps did you take before you left your job for good? Share your insights in the comments below!

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Published on January 7, 2021

How To Train Yourself When You Lack Attention To Details

How To Train Yourself When You Lack Attention To Details

Some people see the trees for the forest, and some see only the forest, meaning they lack strong attention to detail. But even if you’re one of the people who take a macro rather than a micro view, true professionalism requires balancing both.

If focusing on the fine points is not your forte, you will benefit from training yourself to pay attention to details. You will profit by saving yourself time, effort, money, and credibility.

Why Training Yourself in Attention to Details Pays Off

You add value to your organization when you make the effort to ensure that you performed your work thoroughly and effectively. This is why job postings often list “attention to details” among the required skills.

When you present your supervisor or client with well-completed, high-quality work the first time, it maximizes your value and minimizes wasted time. Detail-oriented people are also more adept at catching mistakes that could lead to costly blunders.

Moreover, attention to detail is an indicator of possessing other in-demand employee qualities, such as organization, thoroughness, and focus. In some professions, such as accounting, engineering, medical research, and more, you can only excel if you have trained yourself to pay attention to details.

In other professions, possessing strong attention to detail is the very quality that will get you promoted to a position where you will be asked to consider the big picture.

Finally, if you are the “go-to” details person, everyone else on the team can relax a bit. They know the project is in good hands and will likely throw you more projects as a reward. This will ultimately lead to your advancement.

3 Important Aspects of Becoming More Detail-Oriented

Here are the 3 important things you need to learn if you want to remedy your lack of attention to detail:

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  1. Respect deadlines
  2. Understand the work-flow plan
  3. Build in time to mess up

1. Respect Deadlines

Deadlines lend all projects a finish line. One smart idea is to take the given deadline and work backward from it, calculating when your piece of the project is due. Then, if you stick to the proscribed schedule for completing the mini-projects that you have, you will never miss a deadline.

One important note on this: It is smarter to stick to the deadline and turn in work that merits a “B+” than to blow the deadline with “A” work. Chances are, through revision and suggested changes from others on the team, you can bring up your B+ work to an A later. But if you disregard deadlines, you will lose the respect of your boss and fellow teammates.

2. Understand the Work-Flow Plan

Your team is developing work in conjunction with other teams who have projects and deadlines of their own. When you grasp the whole work-flow plan, you may be able to either add insight to the greater project or to your own smaller piece of it that others at the firm will consider valuable.

3. Build in Time to Mess Up

You can expect that “what can go wrong will go wrong.” Don’t overpromise on deadlines. Something likely will mess up, but when it does if you built in the time to fix it, those around you won’t freak out.

Chances are, you already give your attention to several details. Take heart. You can do this! You can overcome your lack of attention to detail and become more detail-oriented.

For starters, consider this: Most people take the time and put in extra effort into the activities or undertakings that matter to them most. Training yourself to become more detail-oriented can mean adopting a similar pattern of behavior.

Apply the same attention you give to your appearance. Are you a meticulous dresser? Do you pay attention to how you pair patterns and colors, and how you accessorize a particular outfit?

This is the same system to use when you lack attention to detail with your work. Give every item careful consideration so that each one contributes to the perfectly pieced-together whole.

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Assemble the ingredients the way you do when you cook. Cooking and baking from scratch require close attention to details as you measure and add each ingredient in sequence, and you time everything so that the meal comes together at the same time.

Similarly, your work product requires you to gauge whether all the ingredients have been added and that your final product is delivered on time.

Organize your business network like you do your social contacts. If you follow a broad base of friends and acquaintances on social media, you can apply similar skills to stay up-to-date on details associated with business acquaintances.

When you meet somebody who could be influential to your career or a resource for improving your skills, follow that person on social media. Respond to their posts to keep the lines of communication flowing.

12 Tips to Help You if You Lack Attention to Detail

Teaching yourself to take note of important details involves sharpening your perceptions and thinking ahead. The following tips will help you adopt these practices. Master these habits when training yourself to become detail-oriented.

1. Learn to Listen Well

You will pick up relevant information and needed nuance when you apply the skills of active listening. In conversations, train yourself to make eye contact, give your undivided attention to the speaker, and ask pertinent follow-up questions.

Training yourself to pay better attention to details in conversations includes learning to fully concentrate on what others have to say. If you find it hard, there’s no harm in taking notes on what they say.

2. Pay Attention to Social Cues

Make a point of noticing body language and facial expressions that provide insights into how others perceive a situation. Social cues offer details that give you an understanding of how words and actions impact others. The infamous character Michael Scott of the television show “The Office” epitomizes the consequences of not paying attention to others’ body language.[1]

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3. Follow Rules

Rules and protocols usually come about from lessons learned and are put in place to avoid further mishaps—whether from a safety or efficiency standpoint. If you’re given step-by-step procedures to follow, check them off as you go. Also, return to the rules at the project’s end just to make sure you adhered to them all.

4. Take Notes

Note-taking is a way to boost your retention and gives you something to refer back to when you need to keep track of pertinent details. You will also heighten your focus as you listen for relevant information. Review your notes shortly after the meeting or conversation and highlight the content that you intend to apply.

5. Prioritize What Needs Your Attention Now

When you have a full slate of work that demands your attention, take a few moments to sort assignments from most to least urgent. Keep a calendar, spreadsheet, or project planning software up-to-date with schedules and deadlines to help you stay organized.

As you tackle each urgent assignment, give it your full attention so no details are missed. Give yourself ample time—especially if you tend to be someone who waits until the last minute—as rushing can make you overlook important details.

6. Have a Detail-Oriented Assistant Check Your Work

If you lack attention to detail, then it makes sense to seek help from someone detail-oriented. If you have this option, take advantage of it. Two sets of eyes are better than one. Just be sure to credit your assistant for their help once the project is completed.

7. Learn the Rules of Writing Well

English is a difficult language, and grammar, punctuation, and spelling can all sabotage you unless you pay attention to detail. When in doubt, look it up. Free to use website services such as Grammarly can help.

8. Proofread Before You Hit Send

Nothing is perfect in its first draft. If you lack attention to detail, then put in the extra effort before submitting things. Before you send off any written work, check carefully not only for misspellings and incomplete sentences but also for improper tone, inappropriate colloquialisms, and inconsistent formatting. When your written communications are error-free, they will have their intended impact.

9. Minimize Distractions

It is impossible to stay focused when colleagues carry on conversations nearby or your mobile notifications ding you throughout the day. Do your best to limit distractions.

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If you are working where there is a lot of noise or side activity, try wearing noise-canceling headphones or seeking out a quiet corner. Disable your notifications when you need to focus, and resolve to only check them after you have completed your assignment.

10. Take Breaks

It may sound counter-intuitive to stop and take a walk, but it’s necessary. Walk away from the screen. Moving from one task to the next across the span of your workday is a recipe for brain fatigue. Give your brain a recess time when you come to a natural stopping place or after you complete one project and before you start the next. These short pauses are necessary for sorting through all the details needed for coming up with successful solutions.

11. Make Time for Reflection

At the end of a workday, take a few minutes to go over the day’s events in your mind. What was said or relayed in conversations? What is the status of the projects you worked on? What else occurred that you should pay attention to? Could there have been any details you might have missed that you should address tomorrow?

12. Keep a Detailed To-Do List

This simple organizational tool is your best ally for getting your work done on time and for paying attention to the details. If you are pressed for time (and who isn’t?), write your list to coordinate with dayparts.

Allot a certain number of hours to complete each task, do it, and then check it off. Nothing feels more rewarding than completing all the tasks on your list. But if you can’t finish them, then carry them over to the following day.

Final Thoughts

Details may seem small, but they can become a lot larger when they are overlooked. If you know you lack attention to detail, commit to training yourself to embrace the many facets that can help you consistently excel in the tasks you set out to accomplish.

When you begin to catch your mistakes in advance or apply the tidbits of information you gathered from paying close attention, you will know that you have trained yourself in the fundamentals of becoming detail-oriented. After that, you should start hearing the phrase “Great job!” more often.

More Tips on Boosting Your Attention to Detail

Featured photo credit: Cristina Gottardi via unsplash.com

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