A little while ago, I got a text from a good friend to ask for my advice. She wanted to quit her current job to go pursue something she was passionate about. But, she was having trouble mapping out a plan.
Thinking through how I’ve handled similar situations in the past. Here is a summary of the advice I gave to my friend on how to quit her job in 6 steps.
Pick a date and plan your exit strategy
It all starts with having a plan. Decide for yourself what is the absolute last day you can see yourself being in your current job. It can be 3, 6 or 12 months from now. Write it down somewhere you can easily refer back and be reminded of the commitment that you’ve set.
Once you’ve picked an “I’m outta here by X” date, then you need to come up with a specific and detailed plan of all the things you need to do in that time-frame. This plan will map out priorities which will enable you to leave conveniently and support your transition into your dream job.
Know exactly where you want to go
What is your dream job? What are the profiles of people in the positions you aspire to? Identify 5 of these scenarios. How do you stack up against the competition? Are there any common threads across these profiles and are these things that you see in your own profile? If yes, great, if not, then you have to get serious about acquiring those skills, attributes, qualifications.
Focus on building your brand
In this age of social media, it’s all about perception. Sometimes you get that next job not because you’ve been the best at your current job, but because you’ve learnt how to get better at promoting yourself and your work.
These days, its not enough to just “stay in your own lane”. You have to find a way to strategically be seen and heard, while remaining authentic and true to yourself. Think about your long-term goals and ask yourself whether the things you’re doing now are in line with that vision.
Network, network, network
Like it or not, you have to put yourself out there, be it virtually or in person. Attend more events where the people who have the job you aspire to, will be present. Challenge yourself to talk to these people, ask them questions, get their contact details and be proactive about following up with them.
Approach people, not with the intention of showing off, but rather to find out what they are interested in and see how your interests align with theirs. Be purposeful and intentional about networking and watch it pay off.
Put in work behind the scenes
At the end of the day, when the right offer comes your way, you’re still going to have to back it up with experience. So whether you need to go back to school; take a course online; spend more time at your local bookstore; or schedule coffee dates with your mentors; the reality is that you are going to have to put in work.
Turn the job hunt process into a fun experience. Give your CV a makeover and add new certifications to your LinkedIn profile. Talk to people you look up to and realize that all of your goals are within your reach. You must be willing to work hard for the life you want!
Be your biggest cheerleader
Finally, learn to be your biggest cheerleader. But also surround yourself with a tribe of people that are committed to your success, both personally and professionally. Keep working towards your goals. Know that when you cross that line, all the people who love and care about you will be right there cheering you on.
Have you ever left a job for your dream job? What steps did you take?
Let us know more about you and your story here.