Are you considering taking the leap to leave your full-time position? Maybe you are leaving because you’re unhappy with your current job, you may want to work part-time, stay home with your kids, take care of family, start your own business, or travel the world… There are so many reasons that you might want to dial it back and not work full-time. Make no mistake though, because leaving your full-time position can be a life-changing decision.
Whatever your reason for leaving your full-time position, you need a plan to implement so that when you take the leap, you won’t crash and burn.
Consider these 10 tips as you create a plan to leave your current job.
#1 Why are you leaving
Determining your reason for wanting to leave your current job is critical. Are you unhappy with your current job? Do you need more money? Do you have dreams that you want to pursue?
Take time to discuss with your manager about specifically what is bothering you about your current job. See if there is a way that you can work around your negative feelings. If you need more money or flexibility to care for your family, then you might be able to negotiate these terms with your employer.
If you are hoping to start a freelance business and eventually become an entrepreneur talk to your manager about changing your schedule so that you have time to build your business before leaving.
Open communication with your manager is a great way to start planning your exit strategy from your full-time career.
#2 What will be your next career move?
Make sure that you have a plan in place to move you towards your next career goals. You should be applying for new jobs, starting your freelance business, or taking professional development courses that will prepare you for your next employment opportunity. Staying engaged professionally is crucial if you plan to return to full-time work in the future. MomSource Network offers specific continuing education opportunities based on your goals for the future.
#3 Determine your strengths and weaknesses as an employee
Make time for a conversation with your manager to give you insight into your strengths and weaknesses. Understanding what you are doing really well will allow you to leverage those strengths when you are looking for a new position. This could also help you know what you’ve been doing really well so that you can look for a job that will allow you to implement skills that you are really good at. That way you won’t be going into a new career field or job and fall flat because you can’t meet the expectations of a larger role.
#4 Work on your resume
Whether you are changing career fields, job titles, or starting your own business, you will need an updated resume. Take time to record all the activities and skills that you have been able to build expertise in at your current job. You will be able to use your updated resume to share with potential employers, clients, or investors.
Depending on the time of year you quit, you could potentially be leaving behind a bonus, vacation days, or a possible promotion. Leaving your job towards the end of the year without another job offer will make it very difficult to find a new position. Most companies do not hire until after the beginning of a new year (mid-January or later).
#6 Leaving gracefully
Do not burn bridges with your current manager and co-workers. No matter if you are unhappy with the job or the company, you want to leave gracefully so that you have references and networking opportunities available to you. Ultimately you never know how a business relationship will help you or hurt you in the future. It’s a good idea to leave your job by helping with the transition of your position, staying positive about the company, and maintaining professional atmosphere while you are still working the last days of your contract.
#7 Track your spending / Create a budget
When you are planning to leave your current position it’s a good idea to know how much money you need to earn from your future position. Knowing your budget will allow you to be able to decide what areas you can cut back on in case you are wanting to take a job with less pay.
#8 Savings to cover living expenses
It’s a good idea to have at least 3 – 6 months of savings to cover your living expenses if you are leaving your full-time job without a job offer. This will give you time to search for another job or start your own business without the pressure of not being able to pay your bills.
#9 Health Insurance
If you are leaving a company that has over 20 employees you will be able to access COBRA the government mandated temporary continuation of health coverage. The COBRA insurance will be more than the portion you paid while you were employed with your company. Temporary coverage lasts 18 – 36 months, but be sure to check with your human resource department to clarify the terms with your company.
#10 Consider plans for your personal life
Engaged? Getting married? Planning a family?
Weddings and babies can be a big expense for you. If you have plans to marry in the near future or start a family, then you may want to delay your plans to leave your current job. You could also plan by creating a savings for those types of life experiences so that you will be prepared once you leave your full-time job.
Making the decision to leave your full-time job is a big deal! It’s worth your time to consider these tips to get yourself organized before taking the plunge to quit your job, so that you can leave with a strategy in place that will help you transition to your next opportunity.
Whatever you decide, be thorough and be thoughtful. It’s your life and you deserve to be happy.