You’ve decided that it’s time to move on from your current job, and you’re happily dusting off your resume when it hits you. By leaving your job you’re also leaving people you care about.
What will they do without you? Are you letting them down by leaving? Will they be disappointed or upset with you?
Here are five mindsets to assist you in carrying on with your plans for bigger and better in the face of these worries.
1) It’s your responsibility to look after you. No one else is.
That’s not to say that people in your life don’t want what’s best for you. What it means is that you are the one with the most incentive to care about your life, since it’s yours. You’re also the only one with an innate knowledge of what your goals and aspirations for life are. If you’ve come to the conclusion that reaching your next level involves embarking on a new challenge, then by all means go for it. No one else is going to swoop in and take care of that for you. It’s your responsibility to look after your own needs.
2) Leaving a job is helpful to everyone involved.
It’s actually a generous act to leave a position when you’re ready to move on. It benefits you, because you get to go someplace you’re more excited about. It benefits the person who lands the job you’re leaving, because they get a job they want. It benefits your co-workers because they gain a connection at a new organization that may come in handy down the road. And it also benefits the organization you work for, because they get a fresh, engaged employee vs. someone who has already checked out.
3) Someone else can do your job just as well as you can.
I know you’re good at what you do. I know you’re a champ at all the ins and outs of handling your job description. You may feel that no one could do your job as well as you can. Well, maybe the next guy or gal will have a learning curve to manage at first. And maybe they will not do things exactly the way you did them. But your shoes, even if they’re big shoes, can be filled. I promise.
4) Leave on the best terms you can.
Your leaving will create an adjustment period for the people who are remaining at your organization. So do what you can to aid them in their transition. Document the tasks that you regularly handle. Ask what you can do to help train the new person. Also, as you’re heading out the door, keep your message about your experience with the organization as positive as possible. Don’t potty mouth anyone, as tempting as it may be. If asked why you’re leaving by your management cite personal reasons, such as ‘I’m ready to take on a new challenge’, vs. environmental reasons, such as ‘My boss is a jerk, and I can’t take dealing with her anymore’.
5) Keep in touch.
There will likely be a few people who you are sad to be leaving. Make an effort to keep in touch with these folks. You probably won’t be as close with them as when you saw them every workday, but you can still check in via email or set up a time to grab lunch together and catch up on all the new gossip.
Most people in the world will be understanding that you’re leaving, since they’ve probably switched jobs at some point in their career too. A few won’t. Stay strong. Remember you’re taking care of yourself, and in the long run you’re helping everyone involved.
Tip: Leaving a job is an opportune time to ask the people you’ve worked for and with (who you are on good terms with) to write you a LinkedIn recommendation. Don’t be shy about this! Make the request. You may even want to prime the pump by explicitly reminding the recommender of some of your accomplishments that they could touch on. If someone says they’d be happy to do this, but then they never get to it, be sure to follow-up with them until they do.
Do you have any other mindsets that have helped you leave a job, and correspondingly, people you cared about? Leave a comment with your thoughts below!