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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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          Last Updated on July 10, 2020

          Feeling Stuck in Your Career? How to Break Free and Get Ahead

          Feeling Stuck in Your Career? How to Break Free and Get Ahead

          Have you ever caught yourself in a daydream where you’ve gone for that upcoming promotion, and you’re now the boss at work? Or how about the one where you’ve summoned up all your courage to quit a job where you’re feeling stuck in your career and live your dream instead? Or when you’ve changed career paths to do what really makes you happy?

          Then, you snapped back to reality and realized that you’re not the boss, not living your dream, and not even happy in the career path that you’re on.

          Over the years I’ve worked with hundreds of individuals who’ve told me they feel stuck in their careers, that something had to change for them to break free and be happy, but they lacked the confidence to take that step. My mission is to make sure that nobody feels stuck in their career because of a momentary lapse in bravery that’s dragged on for too long.

          Read on to find out how you can stop feeling stuck in your career, break free, and get ahead at work. .

          Here are my top ten tips for becoming unstuck in your career.

          1. Make Time for You

          If you’re feeling stuck, frustrated, or unhappy with how your career is panning out, the first step is to work out why.

          Maybe you’ve arrived in your current career by accident and haven’t ever made time to deliberately think or plan what you’d love to do and how you’d get there.

          Prioritizing time to think is the first step you need to take to stop feeling stuck and start getting ahead. Book some time into your day where you can have an uninterrupted meeting with yourself. This is your thinking time.

          Work out what makes you happy at work, what doesn’t, and where you might want to go. Decide on the steps you want to take to progress your career in the direction that you want it to take.

          For example, are there training days, evening courses, or online learning that you can do? Have you considered getting a mentor to help you get ahead?

          By booking in a meeting with yourself, it signals it’s important (to you and your colleagues) and also stops others spotting a gap in your day and filling it with a meeting.

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          2. Grow Your Network Before You Need It

          Who you know is more important than what you know for career progression. Don’t wait until you’re feeling stuck in your career to start expanding your networks. Do it now.

          Adam Grant, the author of Give and Take, says you’re 58% more likely to get a new job through your weak ties than through your strong ones. Your strong ties are those in your immediate circle whom you interact with often. Your weak ties are your friends of friends. They move in different circles to you, they know different people, make different connections, and are more likely to introduce you to new and different opportunities[1].

          When I was thinking about setting up my current company, Lucidity, I turned up to every networking event. I drank a lot of coffees with a lot of different people to understand what they did, to ask for advice, to unpick what their problems were, and to look for opportunities for collaboration and connections.

          It paid off because, when I launched my business, I let my network know how I could help them, and soon I had my first clients.

          Pay attention to building and nurturing your networks and focus on how you can add value to other. That’s where your next career opportunity is most likely to come from.

          3. Surround Yourself With People Who Inspire You

          According to Tim Ferriss, “You are the average of the five people you most associate with,” and his associations with different people ebbs and flows depending on what he’s working on and trying to achieve[2].

          For example, if you are trying to be fitter, it’s easier if you hang around with people who love doing exercise–they help you to up your game.

          If you want that promotion, a career change, or to set up your own business, seek out people who are excelling at it already. They’ll have valuable things to teach you about breaking free and getting ahead.

          4. Work on Your Personal Brand

          Jeff Bezos defines a personal brand as “what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” People will talk about you when you are not in the room anyway, so you might as well be deliberate about what you’d like people to say!

          Your personal brand isn’t about pretending to be something you’re not. That can actually keep you feeling stuck in your career. It’s really about being your best “real you.” It’s about owning your strengths and being purposeful about how you want to be perceived by others.

          What do you want to be known for? By being more deliberate about how you want to come across and what you’re looking for in your career, you’ll increase your chance of attracting the right opportunities.

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          Once you’ve given your personal brand some thought, make sure that you show up online. Is your LinkedIn profile up to date? And if you don’t have one, get one. Make sure it communicates what you want to be known for and that it’s consistent with your other social media profiles.

          Try these 5 Steps to Master Networking Skills and Perfect Your Personal Branding.

          5. Be Accountable

          Achieve your career goals faster, and grow and learn by making yourself accountable. Tell other people your goals and a timeline. and have them to hold you accountable.

          For example, you might want to get a promotion by the end of the year, have decided the sector you want to move to by the end of the month, or have got your new business idea before the next pay day. Whatever your ambitions are, you can tell a friend or a colleague, or share this with a mentor or a mastermind group.

          When we tell other people our goals and intentions, they hold us accountable, and we are more likely to make progress faster.

          6. Make Sure Your Values Are Aligned With Your Company’s

          All the professional development, goal setting, and networks in the world won’t make you happy if you’re working for a company that ultimately has opposing values to yours.

          Figure out what’s important to you in a job. For example, does your company’s product help people live a better life? Do you feel strongly about your company’s ethics and social responsibility? Does the company culture allows employees to be themselves and shine? Or maybe flexible working and more holidays for employees with families is where your heart is?

          Some companies put their employees well-being at the core of their business; others put profits first. If you feel that your values don’t match the core values of your employer, it could be a reason why you’re feeling stuck in your career and unhappy.

          It’s important to work through this and identify whether it’s the job that is not right for you, or if it’s a great job but the organization or sector is wrong for you.

          7. Get out of Your Comfort Zone

          Your comfort zone is your safe place. For any change to happen, you have to step out of your comfort zone.

          It’s actually much easier not to change anything and to keep grumbling on about how you’re stuck and unhappy in your career than to step outside of your comfort zone to address the fearful unknowns associated with change. It’s part of human nature that we’d put up with the devil we know rather than risk the devil we don’t.

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          This is true even if the devil we know is a boring, unfulfilling job because we’re wired to think that making a change to find a better option might actually leave us worse off.

          If you feel stuck, it might be that your confidence has got the better of you.

          To get ahead at work, start taking small steps outside of your comfort zone. Consider what you’re scared of that is stopping you from making a change. Then, tackle that in small steps.

          For example, if you know that to move into the job you want, you’ll have to do more public speaking, but public speaking terrifies you so much it’s stopping you from going for the job, then start small to build your confidence. You can speak up more in team meetings, then slowly build from there.

          You might also choose to set up or be part of a specific group. One of my clients, who found that confidence was holding her team back in achieving work goals, set up a “get out of your comfort zone club,” where they challenge and support each other to build their confidence by regularly leaving their comfort zones.

          8. Learn to Embrace Failure

          Failure is part of life. A New York University study found that children learning to walk averaged 2,368 steps and fell 17 times an hour[3]. Failure is simply the natural path to success.

          The truth is that we don’t get everything right the first time. We fail, we learn, we pick ourselves up, and we try again.

          In my experience, it’s common that whilst the theory of learning from failure is supported, the reality of being open about failures to enable personal learning is much harder to achieve.

          We don’t like to admit that we’ve failed. We have a fight or flight response to failure. It’s a normal gut reaction to ask ourselves: “Will I get away with it if I don’t tell anyone?” We are fearful of criticism, of losing face in front of others, or even being fired for failure.

          However, if you’re going to stop feeling stuck in your career, you must be open to learning from failure.

          Reframe failure by viewing everything as an experiment because you can’t have a failed experiment—you just learn whether something works or not. Think of Edison inventing the lightbulb, when he said:

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          “I’ve not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

          9. Build Your Resilience

          Resilience is the ability to tackle difficulties and setbacks, to bounce back, regroup, and to keep going.

          Getting unstuck in your career, taking a different path, and achieving the results you want will take resilience. Having resilience is also the capacity to choose how you respond to the unexpected things that life throws your way and adapt and thrive in times of complex change.

          Given that the world we live in is in constant flux, and the only thing that is certain is uncertainty, the ability to adapt and bounce back is an important life skill, as well as a career skill.

          In her book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, Angela Duckworth’s research shows that when measuring success, the ability to persevere beats talent every time.

          Learn more about how to build resilience in this guide: What Is Resilience and How to Always Be Resilient (Step-By-Step Guide)

          10. Ask for Help

          It can be hard to ask for help, as it can make us feel vulnerable.

          No one person can be expected to have all the answers. That’s why we need a group of people that we can go to for help, people who can pick us up when we have setbacks and also help us to celebrate success.

          My advice is to be deliberate about creating your group. You can do that with a tool called a “Me Map”:

          1. Write down all the things that you might need support with, like help with career progression, interview practice, making new connections, talking through business plans, learning from failure, etc.
          2. Next to each thing, write the names of the people you go to when you need that particular thing.
          3. Make sure you get in touch and regularly connect with them.

          Final Thoughts

          You can stop feeling stuck in your career, break free, and get ahead at work by applying the tips in this article. Start small by incorporating three new things in your first week, and then adding more as your comfort zone and capacity expands.

          Remember, no matter how stuck you feel, it’s never too late to make a change and land the career that you truly want.

          More Tips to Stop Feeling Stuck in Your Career

          Featured photo credit: NEW DATA SERVICES via unsplash.com

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