You’ve decided it’s time to move on from your current position. What’s your exit strategy? How do you figure one out?
One of the key career management skills for Cubicle Warriors is knowing how long a position will last. With a little practice, of course, you can come pretty close to determining that it’s time to find something new, either inside or outside your current department or company.
The key question: How do you implement an Exit Strategy?
Most people go through a drill where they start to think about new positions and even applying for them. But, it’s not necessarily a plan, just some things that one does — often sporadically instead of consistently. Myself included.
Here’s how to create an exit strategy.
Before deciding it is time to leave
These are things that should be done consistently in your career management work. The purpose: to lay the groundwork for your move when you decide it’s time to move into a different position.
What to do when you decide to move on
When you’ve determined the time has come to start getting out of your position — including the lead time necessary to find a position in the current company/job market — it’s time to implement stronger measures.
The great fear I always had about letting people know I was looking for a new position in or out of my current organization was the possibility of retaliation for looking — managers thinking that since I was now looking I wouldn’t be good at taking on new initiatives or pulling favors for others because I was going to leave anyway.
Nothing was further from the truth for me — the world changes and given new opportunities influences my view of a position being done.
But, it’s a legitimate fear. There are simply too many stories of people getting screwed by their manager or their company when looking for a new position.
While your mileage (or kilometers…) may vary, there is a good point to be made about this fear: you’ve decided it’s time to leave your current position, one way or the other. If your management team and/or company is going to resort to pulling this sort of crap, it’s time to leave the company anyway, isn’t it?
My integrity is worth a lot more than succumbing to retaliation because I’m looking for a new position.
When it’s time to go, it’s time to go.
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