Leaving a job can be really scary…or it can be the best decision of your life. A lot of factors are involved with this decision, so it's important to be prepared.
I felt both scared and excited when I left my first job, and there is ultimately no "right" way to feel. Luckily, I interviewed a few YoPros with some experience in this area and they share their thoughts with you on how to leave a job with grace.
1. Don’t burn any bridges.
Even if you can’t stand the position you are about to leave, it’s important to keep a cool head. Then-36-year-old Kathryn Davis, a Senior Regulatory Affairs Manager in Santa Barbara, California, at the time of her interview, shares that you never know who you will end up working with down the road. They could become your coworker or boss one day, so make sure to leave professionally. I still keep up with several people from my first job, despite how wrong of a fit it was for me. So, remember to stay cool and leave with grace.
2. Be open about your next steps.
Regardless of why you are leaving a job, it still might feel uncomfortable to tell your peers and coworkers about where you’re going. Drew Widner, then-26-year-old Strategy & Analytics Consultant at DaVita in Denver, Colorado, relates; he got over those fears when he left his finance position in Charlotte, North Carolina. His team actually appreciated and respected his openness about his intentions and visions about leaving. When he and his wife brought more people into the fold about their decision, that helped take the stress off leaving for them. It made a vast difference to be open and transparent, opposed to hiding his true feelings.
3. Change is inevitable.
Just roll with it, as Allie Van Dyke would say. The then-28-year-old Partnerships and Media Coordinator at the Blood Connection in Greenville, South Carolina spent her whole life thinking she would be a news reporter. Once she realized that was not the right fit anymore, she took some time to reflect on her experience. She realized that change will, and is meant to, happen. What matters is not being scared of change because you feel the need to limit yourself to one career path.
There are multiple ways to handle leaving a job, but the tips above are strong methods to ensure you leave on a good note, no matter how uncomfortable it may be. If you’re in this spot in your career, remember to breathe and just stay cool.
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