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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 September 20, 2018

          How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

          How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

          If you’re going to spend 1/3 of our life at work, you should enjoy it, right?

          Trust me, I know that’s easier said than done. Difficult coworkers, less-than-desirable tasks, or even just being in the wrong position can all lead to a lack of enjoyment and fulfillment in your work.

          But what if I told you it doesn’t have to be this way? Or better yet, if you struggle with all of the above (and then some), what if I told you that enjoying your work and finding fulfillment regardless of those obstacles is possible?

          Don’t believe me? I don’t blame you because I was there too. Before implementing the tips below, I struggled to get through each day, much less find real fulfillment, in the office. Now, even after the toughest days on the job, I still come away with feelings of pride, accomplishment, and fulfillment. The best news is, so can you.

          If you’re ready to make those hours count and find happiness and fulfillment in the office, then read on to find out how to be happy at work and find fulfillment in your career:

          1. Discover the root(s) of the problem

          For this first step, we’ll need to think back to 8th-grade physics (humor me). We all know Newton’s 3rd law, “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” When you think about it, the same can be said outside of physics, and we see this law play out in our daily lives, day after day.

          Simply put, all the issues we deal with in the office (and life in general) affect us in a noticeable way.

          If you’re appreciated at work, like the work you do and receive frequent praise, promotions, or raises, then this will probably have an altogether positive effect on your life in the office.

          But what if we reverse this? What if you feel under appreciated, get passed up for promotions, or get denied raises? This is sure to affect the way you feel at work on a negative level.

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          So, before you can implement the steps of feeling happy and fulfilled at work, we first have to discover the reasons why you don’t feel that way already.

          Think about it, write a list, or make a mental note. Run through all the reasons you’re dissatisfied in the office, and don’t hold back. Knowing the exact obstacles you’re facing will make overcoming them that much easier.

          In fact, as a side-challenge to this article, I recommend picking the top three reasons contributing to your dissatisfaction at work and using the following tips to tackle them.

          2. Practice gratitude for an instant uplift

          Did you know the simple act of feeling grateful can increase your happiness and make you more fulfilled at work?[1]

          Well, it’s true, and it’s scientifically proven.

          Dr. Lisa Firestone notes that practicing gratitude “reminds us of what we lacked in the past.” Meaning, it serves as both a boost to happiness and a bit of a wake-up call that things have been or could be, much worse.

          Trying to conjure up feelings of gratitude can seem almost impossible when your work situation seems bleak, but hear me out: There are incredibly easy ways to get started and it doesn’t involve trying to “force” yourself to feel grateful about things that stress you out.

          For an instant pick-me-up, try this:

          Find a loose piece of paper, a blank sticky note, or anything you can write on, be it physical or digital. List just three things that you are absolutely without-a-doubt thankful for in your life.

          Now here’s the trick: Don’t just list what you’re grateful for, you have to list why you’re grateful for them, too.

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          For example, simply saying “I’m grateful for my kids” will probably make you feel good, sure, but what if we could amplify the warm, fuzzy feeling into real, lasting motivation?

          Instead, write the reason you’re so thankful for your children. Is it because they make you laugh and forget about other stressors? Or maybe they help to remind you of why you go to work every day in the first place?

          Whatever your reasons may be, jot them down and keep your list somewhere you can see it while you work. A quick glance at your gratitude list throughout the day can provide powerful, positive motivation to keep going.

          Bonus:

          If you can find just three things to be thankful for that specifically relate to your job, and list why those things make you grateful, your list can also help you find fulfillment in your work itself which can give you an even bigger boost of positivity throughout the day.

          3. Take meaningful time for yourself

          We all know creating a strong work-life balance can be crucial to feeling satisfied in our jobs, but rarely do we ever address how we’re spending our time outside of work.

          Many of us survive a 9-hour work day and commute home only to find ourselves busy with our personal to-do lists, running a household, and taking care of a child (or 2 or 3, and so on).

          If you spend all your time working, whether in the office or within your household, you’re going to feel drained at some point. This is why setting meaningful time for yourself every day is highly important.

          Look, I get it: I don’t know anyone in the working world who can shun all responsibility for a 3-movie marathon or happy hour with friends whenever they feel like it. But finding time for yourself, be it just 30 minutes to an hour, can really make a difference in how you feel at work.

          This works because you’ll have time to actually relax and let the day’s stress melt away while you enjoy something just for you. The to-do lists and stressors will still be there after you’re refreshed and ready to tackle them.

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          No time for me-time? Try this:

          If you have a busy household, you’ll need to capitalize on a block of time you know will be completely uninterrupted. The easiest way to do this: try waking up 30 minutes to an hour earlier than usual (or push bedtime back an hour if you’re a night owl, like me) and take time to do something you enjoy.

          This could be reading with a cup of tea, catching up on Facebook, spending time on a passion project—anything! As long as it’s meaningful to you, it works!

          Bonus:

          Starting your day with meaningful time for yourself can set you up to have a positive mood that lasts well into office hours, and having your me-time in the evening can give you something positive to look forward to during the day.

          4. Get productive and feel accomplished

          Don’t you just love the feeling of checking the last item off of a hefty to-do list? That’s because self-motivation can be a huge driver of positivity and success.

          When we accomplish something, no matter how small, it makes us feel good, plain and simple. Applying this tactic to your daily work can be the motivator you need to find fulfillment during the daily office grind.

          While there are tons of steps to get more done at work, I’ll share my personal favorite: Prioritizing.

          Now, many people handle prioritizing differently. Some like to tackle the little tasks first so they can spend focused time on the big to-dos. Others like to knock out the big items first and get to the smaller ones when they can.

          No matter which camp you’re in, you may be missing one crucial step: Time management.

          So how’s this work? When you factor in the amount of time your priorities will take, it can transform your productivity ten-fold.

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          Say you have three top priorities for the day. You might jump into the smaller ones or the bigger ones depending on your preferred method, and then find yourself out of time and bringing work home with you at the end of the day.

          This is prevented when you factor in time. Knowing how long each item will take, or deliberately setting specific blocks of time for your priorities can help you accomplish more in the same 8-9 (or 12) hours that you typically spend at work.

          Try this:

          Take a look at your priorities and consider how long they should take. Pop into your Google calendar (or Filofax, whatever works for you) and schedule time to work on your priority items around any important meetings or events of the day.

          The most important thing to remember is to stick to your dedicated time.

          Often, when we know exactly how long we have to work on something (and honor this time limit), we’re motivated to get more done on time to avoid taking work home at the end of the day.

          The bottom line

          There’s no need to waste 1/3 of our lives feeling unsatisfied at work. Luckily, you now have the tools to get started, take back your time, and become happy and fulfilled at work again.

          The only question is — which tip will you try first?

          Featured photo credit: Ellyot via unsplash.com

          Reference

          [1]Psychology Today: The Healing Power of Gratitude

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