In the wake of some recent high profile resignations… Katie Couric, Meredith Viera and perhaps soon, Congressman Anthony Weiner, it is obvious there are some right and wrong ways to leave a position. When is the timing right to make a career move? When you get an offer that seems excellent on all counts, you owe it to yourself to consider it, no matter how comfortable your present position may seem to you. Some factors that might play a part in your decision include new responsibilities, the type of challenge, compensation, all employee benefits such as paid time off, stock options, savings plans, healthcare coverage and amenities like childcare, health club, your new title, a company’s reputation, geographic location, flexibility, prestige and business ethics.
In years past, many people believed, “if I’m loyal to my company, my company will be loyal to me.” However, the drastic cuts by employers during recent economic challenges have impacted how people think about employer-employee loyalty. Today, many people think that staying in a job too long can be harmful to your career. The current number of average jobs held during a lifetime is now ten, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Certainly, if you are not enjoying the work or your colleagues, be proactive about seeking new employment. Make a career change if you are in a dying industry or one that is fairing poorly. Postponing a change until something better comes along, or the kids are out of school could be just an excuse to avoid the job search.
A new position offers the chance to re-energize your career. You’ll meet new people, learn new skills and put new demands on yourself. Never burn any employment bridges. Always attempt to leave on positive terms to maintain good references. Put your resignation in writing. Keep it concise. Give an anticipated departure date, but don’t be offended if your employer moves it up. Express enthusiasm and appreciation for the position you’ve held and wish the organization well. Continue to give your job your best effort until the minute you leave. Don’t slack off, bad mouth your manager or the company and don’t encourage others to leave. Be friendly and upbeat with coworkers. Not everyone’s resignation is public but it is best when, both the employee and employer stay respectful of each other. Although circumstances may make a departure difficult, keep your emotions in check and when you do decide to make your exit, do it with grace.