Guest Author - Dianne Walker
The first day on a new job is exciting. The potential to meet new co-workers, learn new skills perform new and exciting projects all lends itself to enjoying a new work environment. Unfortunately there may come a time when the position we so eagerly pursued, turns out to not be the job we thought it was for a variety of reasons. So what do we do? Do we stay, stick it out and hope for the best? Do we turn and run before our lack of commitment turns a voluntary action into an involuntary termination? What is the best way to make a graceful exit?
1 - Determine the real reason you are unhappy in your job before you make a quick decision. If the employment outlook is not healthy, consider all of your options first. If workload is the issue, talk to your manager about your concerns. Remember, a manager does not automatically know when you may need help. Asking for assistance may help to make the job more tolerable either on a permanent or temporary basis while you think about the decision to stay or leave.
2 - Not feeling challenged is another reason people feel the need to change jobs. Before asking your supervisor for additional responsibilities, however, make sure that you are performing your job to your maximum potential. Request a meeting and have a frank discussion with your supervisor. Talk about your current performance. If your supervisor agrees that you are performing extremely well, ask about the possibility of expanding your job duties. If expansion is not possible, request if cross training is possible to help you learn new skills.
3 - If the above suggestions do not work and you know that it is time to move on, it is imperative that your job search does not interfere with your current work. Make calls during your break or lunch. Schedule interviews around a time when the office will not be busy. You need to continue to perform on your current job so your exit does not occur faster than you would like.
4 - Don’t let your anxiety to leave the company make you jump into the first job offer you receive. When you’ve made the decision to leave a job, frustration and lack of other offers may lead you to make a decision you ordinarily would not make. Take time to consider any job offers in terms of benefits, environment and other factors. If the new position offers a substantial pay increase, but the other benefits are questionable, you need to decide if it is worth the risk. Think of long term commitment and satisfaction rather than instant short term gratification.
5 - Give proper notice. While two weeks notice is considered standard, there are other factors you may want to consider. If your position is difficult to fill, consider providing a longer notice. Leave your manager a written status report on everything that you are working on. Make sure you maintain team player actions and attitude. Burning bridges is never the way to go, you never know who you may need in the future.
In a normal economic climate, the decision to leave a company is often not an easy one. When considering changing careers in a turbulent economy even greater care should be taken. Before making the decision to leave, determine if factors within your current job can be changed to make it more manageable or enjoyable. If leaving the company can not be avoided, take every opportunity to make your exit a less painful situation for both you and your employer.