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Important Things to do Before You Leave Your Job

Important Things to do Before You Leave Your Job

Always have an exit plan. No matter what you do for a career, or how long you plan on staying there, you can lose your job at any time. Once you find out you’re losing your job, the people above you have already known and are prepared. You may not always have a chance to back stuff up and scrounge through the company servers to put together lists of all the great work you did. What good is building a database utilized throughout the entire company if you don’t have proof? There are four important things to do before you leave your job, and most of it should already be done, just in case.

1 – Update Your Resume

resume comic

    Once you get a job, it’s easy to file away your resume, where it’ll sit untouched until you need it again to find a new job. The problem with this line of thinking is your current job won’t be on your resume. The longer you stay at your current job, the more difficult it gets to update – you’ll have to add so many projects, job titles, etc. Figuring all of this out after you leave your job is difficult.

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    Instead, always keep your resume updated. Each time you receive a promotion, raise, or have a change in your contact information, update your resume. This will give you one less thing to worry about if you do end up changing jobs, which is already a very stressful situation. Your work history isn’t the only information on your resume; you need references, education history, and job skills. Add them as you gain them to ensure you know your resume inside and out.

    2 – Save Your Contacts

    save your contact

      Remember Jerry Maguire? The first thing he did after losing his job was contact everyone on his contact list. Don’t underestimate the power of a contact list. You may not have left your job voluntarily, and even if you did, who knows how your next job will end. Keeping your list of contacts current gives you an extra path to success in your career prospects.

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      When you leave the company, even if it’s on good terms, your employer may not be keen to allow you access to their contact lists anymore. A business is always a business. You may think you can memorize people’s email addresses and phone numbers, but if you’re off by even one character, that contact may be forever lost. Even if you don’t plan to return to the industry, it’s possible you’ll run into that person again in a completely different industry. Whether or not you burn a bridge doesn’t matter if you can’t find the bridge.

      3 – Keep It Classy

      classy

        No matter what reason you’re leaving your job, be professional about it. Follow the correct procedures of notifying your boss. They may make a counteroffer that entices you to remain at your current job instead of moving on to a new one. You’ll also open up the possibility of using your boss for a reference. It’s always nice to have a good recommendation from your former boss when looking for a new one. Think about how you act in relationships – you don’t want to badmouth your ex to your current partner. You may be the nicest person in the world, but if everyone in your past is upset with you, why would anyone new want to get involved with you?

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        Jobs work the same way. People are always going to be interested in your past – it’s the best way to judge your likely future outcome. If you left your last job in a way that makes you no longer eligible for rehire, it’s going to come back to bite you in the ass sooner rather than later.  A bad work recommendation is like an STD; whether or not the symptoms are flaring up, it’s still lurking just under the surface, waiting to ruin a perfectly good experience. Leave your workplace wanting more, and you’ll resolve a lot of problems in your job hunt before they even start.

        4 – Have a Plan

        plan comic

          Leaving your job is a major life step, even if it’s just a car wash or fast food joint you’re working at part time during school. You’re cutting off a source of income – a resource that constantly replenishes your finances. It’s like breaking off a romantic relationship, and you’re going to feel the emotional void in one way or another. There’s a level of stress that naturally comes with change, and a career change is a big one. Having a plan lessens the opportunities for stress.

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          If you already have another job, plan the commute and any other changes it may make to your daily life so you’re not caught off-guard.  You don’t have the luxury of planning for involuntary job changes, as they tend to happen spur of the moment. In this case, remain calm. You don’t have to plan your entire life out. Start with today – close your eyes, breathe, and decide on where you want to go to dinner. Money is tight, and things are about to get crazy. You may need a drink to. Everything else can wait until tomorrow…

            

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          Published on March 25, 2019

          How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

          How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

          Career advancement is an enticement that today’s companies use to lure job candidates. But to truly uncover growth opportunities within a company, it’s up to you to take the initiative to move up. You can’t rely on recruiter promises that your company will largely hire from within. Even assurances you heard from your direct supervisor during the interviewing process may not pan out.

          But if you begin a job knowing that you’re ultimately responsible for getting yourself noticed, you will be starting one step ahead.

          Accomplished entrepreneur and LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman said,

          “If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.”

          It’s important to recognize that taking charge of your own career advancement, and then mapping out the steps you need to succeed, is key to moving forward on your trajectory.

          Make a Point of Positioning Yourself as a Rising Star

          As an employee looking for growth opportunities within your current company, you have many avenues to position yourself as a rising star.

          As an insider, you’re able to glean insights on company strategies and apply your expertise where it’s most needed. Scout out any skills gaps, then make a point to acquire and apply them. And, when you have creative ideas to offer, make it your mission to gain the ear of those in the organization who can put your ideas to the test.

          Valiant shows of commitment and enterprise make managers perk up and take notice, keeping you ahead of both internal and external competitors.

          Employ these other useful tips to let your rising star qualities shine:

          1. Promote Your Successes to Your Higher-Ups

          When your boss casually asks how you’re doing, use this valuable moment to position yourself as indispensable: “I’m floating on clouds because three clients have already commented on how well they like my redesign of the company website.”

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          Tell your supervisors about any and all successes. Securing a new contract or signing a new customer should be a cause for celebration. Be sure to let your bosses know.

          2. Cultivate Excellent Listening Skills

          Listen well, and ask great questions. Realize that people love to talk about themselves.

          But if you’re a superb listener, others will confide in you, and you’ll learn from what they share. You may even find out something valuable about your own prospects in the company.

          If others view you as even-minded and thoughtful, they’ll respect your ideas and, in turn, listen to what you have to say.

          3. Go to All Office Networking Events

          Never skip the office Christmas party, your coworker’s retirement party, or any office birthday parties, wedding showers, or congratulatory parties for colleagues.

          If others see you as a team player, it will help you rise in your company. These on-site parties will also help you mingle with co-workers whom you might not ordinarily have the chance to see. For special points, help organize one or two of these get-togethers.

          Take the Extra Step to Show Your Value to the Company

          Managers and HR staff know that it can be less risky – and a lot less costly — to promote from within. As internal staff, you likely have a good grasp of the authority structure and talent pool in the company, and know how to best navigate these networks in achieving both the company’s goals and your own.

          The late Nobel-Prize winning economist, Gary Becker, coined the term “firm-specific,” which describes the unique skills required to excel in an individual organization. You, as a current employee, have likely tapped into these specific skills, while external hires may take a year or more to master their nuances.

          Know that your experience within the company already provides value, then find ways to add even more value, using these tips:

          4. Show Initiative

          Commit yourself to whatever task you’re given, and make a point of going above and beyond.

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          Position yourself so that you’re ready to take on any growth opportunities that present themselves. If you believe you have skills that have gone untapped, find a manager who will give you a chance to prove your worth.

          Accept any stretch assignment that showcases your readiness for advancement. Stay late, and arrive early. Half of getting the best assignments is sticking around long enough to receive them.

          5. Set Yourself Apart by Staying up on Everything There Is to Know About Your Company and Its Competitors

          Subscribe to and read the online trade journals. Become an active member in your industry’s network of professionals. Go to industry conferences, and learn your competitors’ strategies.

          Be the on-the-ground eyes and ears for your organization to stay on top of industry trends.

          6. Go to Every Company Meeting Prepared and Ready to Learn

          A lot of workers feel meetings are an utter waste of time. They’re not, though, because they provide face-time with higher-ups and those in a position to give you the growth opportunities you need.

          Go with the intention of absorbing information and using it to your advantage — including the goals and work styles of your superiors. Respect the agenda, listen more than you speak, and never beleaguer a point.

          Accelerate Your Career Growth Opportunities

          A recent study found that the five predictors of employees with executive potential were: the right motivation, curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination. These qualities help you stand out, but it’s also important to establish a track record of success and to not appear to be over-reaching in your drive to move up in your company.

          Try to see yourself from your boss’s position and evaluate your promote-ability.

          Do you display a passion and commitment toward meeting the collective goals of the company? Do you have a motivating influence with team members and show insight and excellence in all your work?

          These qualities will place you front and center when growth opportunities arise.

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          Use these strategic tips to escalate your opportunities for growth:

          7. Find a Mentor

          With mentorship programs fast disappearing, this isn’t always easy. But you need to look for someone in the company who has been promoted several times and who also cares about your progress.

          Maybe it’s the person who recommended you for the job. Or maybe it’s your direct supervisor. It could even be someone across the hall or in a completely different department.

          Talk to her or him about growth opportunities within your company. Maybe she or he can recommend you for a promotion.

          8. Map out Your Own Growth Opportunity Chart

          After you’ve worked at the company for a few months, work out a realistic growth chart for your own development. This should be a reasonable, practical chart — not a pie-in-the-sky wish list of demands.

          What’s reasonable? Do you think being promoted within two years is reasonable? What about raises? Try to inform your own growth chart with what you’ve heard about other workers’ raises and promotions.

          Once you’ve rigorously charted a realistic path for your personal development within the company, try to talk to your mentor about it.

          Keep refining your chart until it seems to work with your skills and proven talents. Then, arrange a time to discuss it with your boss.

          You may want to time the discussion around the time of your performance review. Then your boss can weigh in with what he feels is reasonable, too.

          9. Set Your Professional Bar High

          Research shows that more than two-thirds of workers are just putting in their time. But through your active engagement in the organization and commitment to giving your best, you can provide the contrast against others giving lackluster performances.

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          Cultivate the hard skills that keep you on the cutting edge of your profession, while also refining your soft skills. These are the attributes that make you better at embracing diverse perspectives, engendering trust, and harnessing the power of synergy.

          Even if you have an unquestionably left-brain career — a financial analyst or biotechnical engineer, for example — you’re always better off when you can form kind, courteous, quality relationships with colleagues.

          Let integrity be the cornerstone of all your interactions with clients and co-workers.

          The Bottom Line

          Growth opportunities are available for those willing to purposely and adeptly manage their own professional growth. As the old adage says,

          “Half of life is showing up.”

          The other half is sticking around so that when your boss is looking for someone to take on a more significant role, you are among the first who come to mind.

          Remember, your career is your business!

          More Resources About Ever-Growing

          Featured photo credit: Zach Lucero via unsplash.com

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