How to know if it’s time to quit your job and make a graceful exit
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” – Steve Jobs.
Are you looking at 2015 and wondering if you should stay or go in your work?
Do you have a dream but you’ve been putting off making it happen?
You are not alone. And I have been there.
This year is different though. I am starting the year having resigned from my full time job to start my coaching business. And it feels great! Never have I left a job feeling so complete and confident about the move.
But the huge leap to entrepreneurialism doesn’t have to be the holy grail and is not the answer to everyone. So lets look at your options closer and what really makes a smart exit.
I have not always been one for good exits. At the start of my career I sat in a company I did not enjoy for two years, hoping that perhaps the next role would fit. The environment was super competitive and demanding and I felt like a spare wheel. Ultimately I wasn’t that into beauty products which was kind of a deal breaker (I know most women would kill for that!).
I did a personal development course and bam! I saw that I was out of integrity with myself and my employer for staying there. So I quit my job and was honest that it wasn’t the business for me.
I was respected for my clarity and bravery – no one likes to have someone who’s on the fence working for them. At the same time, I didn’t set myself up for success because I didn’t have a plan B.
I limited my options and I ended up with a $10K pay cut in my next job (which I more than made up within 2 years but at first this meant lots of beans on toast!).
So what is the best way to set yourself up for success in making an exit?
- Reflect on who you are and what you want: What really lights your fire? What comes naturally to you? Write a whole page of your strengths (you may resist doing this but make yourself – it’s rewarding!). Then look for how you can leverage your strengths and do more of what you love.
- Map out your career vision and plan to get there: Create a vision board or map of what you want in your career, aligned with who you are, your strengths, values, preferences etc. Then ask whether your current job gets you there. Create a roadmap for the next 12 months that propels you toward your vision.
- Watch out for the ‘grass is greener’ or ‘get me out of here’ syndrome: It’s important to establish that the decision is going to take you to a better place. Sometimes we think that going somewhere new will change how we feel but there is a lesson that we need to learn and integrate where we are.
- Get in the driving seat: Before planning your next move, consider what you could do to influence your current situation at work. Often this means having tough conversations. You may be putting this off because it makes you squirm – I so get that – but we all know doing the same thing will get you the same results.
- Know what your deal breakers are: while you can influence others, you can’t change them. Get clear on what you can’t live with. For example, if for you this is a super unsupportive boss or not being able to work flexible hours – it could be time to make your escape plan to get what you want.
- Don’t burn bridges: No matter how you are feeling, focus on how you can be of service and maintain a good relationship with your employer and/or clients. It’s never a good idea to burn bridges and keeping your network healthy will always lead to success in the future.
I went through the process of losing my mojo, taking responsibility, taking action and soul searching many times over 12 years. Then there came a point where I knew that I couldn’t have the freedom, flexibility and creativity I wanted working for someone else as an employee. I started work with a coach and 3 months later I had created my dream business and was able to quit my job with clarity and confidence.
If you are wondering what it would be like to get out of corporate – or you know you want to but you don’t know where to start – find out how you could make your dream a reality with my eBook ‘From Corporate Woman to Thriving Entrepreneur: A Guide to Super Smart Exit’.
Download now at www.louisetaylorcoaching.com/ebook.
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