Whether you are a boss or you report to one, most people have an idea in their mind of what a good boss is.
Better yet, most know exactly what’s what a good boss is not!
When dealing with a bad boss, you can feel the impact. Even if you are just watching someone else going through it. Bad bosses can inspire fear, create tense environments, and overall make work a terrible place to be.
If you carry a title of leadership, it is an excellent opportunity to inspire the best in others. And to create an atmosphere or culture that makes the job a place others want to be.
Let’s examine a few exceptional skills that can make the difference in your being the best boss you can be!
Best Boss Skill#1: Give and Then Give More
As a leader, you may expect to give direction or delegate assignments. But you may not always think specifically to give of yourself.
A boss who is willing to truly be elbow-to-elbow with their team creates an environment of teamwork, loyalty, and approachability well beyond expectation.
People respond better to collaboration than dictatorship. And, if given a choice, would prefer to have access to a supportive personality than an indifferent one.
While every employee may not jump at the chance to spend time with their boss, those that need you most will.
Giving of yourself can show itself by spending extra time to provide training.
Or being open to answering questions, big or small. It can also be key when another set of hands helps to knock out a huge project on time.
Giving more can include support outside of business when life issues arise. An empathic ear one day can make the difference for the entire week.
You can also be a better giver when sharing your expertise. Volunteer to mentor a rising star employee or a new leader in the company. Or schedule time with your own staff who are looking to expand their skills.
Consider giving as a key component of your job and be prepared for the return on investment to become limitless.
Best Boss Skill#2: Listen More Than You Speak
Great bosses are exceptionally good listeners.
While you may be the final say on certain decisions, great bosses know they are not the only voice worth hearing.
Regardless of age or tenure, people respect having their thoughts and opinions included in the process.
Providing opportunities for open forum shared ideas and entertained proposals are crucial to fostering creativity and innovation in any environment.
The more that people are heard, the more they feel included and valued.
Becoming an excellent listener not only gives another speaker the floor. It also signals that you actually want to hear what they have to say.
A good listener demonstrates active listening with engaged eye contact, repeating content for clarity, and affirming with body language.
We all have an interpretation of what looking like you are listening looks like. Great bosses do that!
When you build the habit of listening, you also benefit yourself.
Listening well trains you in the skills of perception, interpretation, and assessment.
As you listen you gain insight into those you speak with.
You learn what motivates others, how they interpret their world, and what causes them to become demotivated or distracted.
Some employees like to talk more than they like to do. Others have great ideas but don’t know how to execute them. Still others are brilliant problem solvers and result achievers.
And all of them can switch places based on the situation or even the day of the week.
Listening well keeps you tapped in to those around you. Now uou can better connect with them personally and gain the most from them professionally.
Learning others better and others sharing openly with you can improve the communication and connectivity with those whom you lead.
Best Boss Skill#3: Show Up As Yourself
Authenticity is the new black.
Everyone is calling for it and, yet, so many still fear owning their true selves for public consumption.
Do you have a work-self and a home-self? Why?
Okay, there are times when you at your most relaxed could most certainly get you fired. Understood.
But there is also such a thing as traveling so far away from your center that you become a completely different person.
Your job should require the share of your skills not the shedding of your soul.
And for those who report to you, it can be hard to fall in sync with someone who becomes a different person every time someone new comes through the door.
When you are consistently your genuine self, those who work for and with you know and learn you better.
Knowing your boss allows you to fall in sync with both their personality and their expectations.
As a boss, it is important to know that you direct people both by your words and your actions. Your facial expressions, tone of voice, and impromptu reactions are all indicators that can be interpreted as how you really feel.
A falsely represented boss will often change these traits due to the work environment, their boss, or their perception of what a boss should be.
The problem, inevitably, is when you are a fake you, the real you shows up too. And that is just too many people for your staff to figure out.
This carousel of characters leads to you being one person one day and someone else the next.
And what does that mean for your employees???
They have no idea what boss they are getting any day of the week.
Your lack of authenticity can lead to employees feeling disconnected, unstable, and unsure in response to you.
But when you are authentic, even on your bad days, you can create the best environment.
Reading Your Boss is a Real Thing
When you are the same person every day and you are genuine in your thoughts and opinions, your people can learn how you tick.
Knowing the real you, they also know what to expect.
And over time, those who are invested in getting their work done well, will know the signals from you of what you like and don’t.
In the world of work, knowing what your boss prefers gives everyone peace.
Your authentic self also has other benefits.
You become more approachable and relatable when you are not wearing a façade.
The benefits of this is not only in how others work for you. It can even impact others to want to be like you.
If you appear as a relatable and real figure others can see themselves as you and feel that what you have achieved may one day be achievable by them.
Be a better boss, mentor, and person by making a practice of being yourself.
Best Boss Skill#4: Be Accountable to People Not Business
While this may be a hard truth to digest, you do not work for your business. You are employed by your business, but, as a leader, you work for your staff.
If you are not sure how this works, let’s look at the facts.
Your employer has provided you with a scope of responsibility and an expectation of output or productivity in your area of command.
You are not meant to produce independently but to properly direct others and yourself to reach the assigned target. Ok. Got it.
Now, in your day-to-day, you have to execute to make it happen.
And you cannot make it happen without your people.
Even with all of these facts, many will still not see where the accountability shifts from the business to the people. But let’s look at why this is also reality.
Your people need you to direct them on what the goals are. They need you to explain tasks that they do not know or objectives they would not otherwise have gotten if not by you.
When they don’t understand, you need to answer their questions. If they make an error, they need to know how to communicate to you so that goals are still met.
Even if you do not directly impact your area’s process flow, your oversight can make the difference in how things are run.
If you are not accountable for being the boss that oversees, leads, directs, and responds to your people, you are not being the best boss you can be.
Further, the closer in touch you are with what your people do, the better you are able to be a resource to them overall.
Knowing their work, their struggles and obstacles, and the subtle nuances to get through each day makes a difference.
This is more than leading, it’s integrating in a meaningful way.
When you display this level of accountability to the team you become a solid resource for them. You are now doing what you are employed to do.
And just like that accountability to your people makes you the boss that wins over and over again.
Best Boss Skill #5: Be a Fearless Failure
Failing is a part of life that no one likes but everyone does.
The best failures are those that prepare you for future success.
As a boss, being brave enough to admit your failures can be crucial to bonding with your team.
Most fail more often on tasks that are new for them in some way. It could be something never done before, a new process, or a higher volume than in the past.
Less often people fail on things that they have done a million times but make a random mistake.
In either scenario, admitting failure provides the opportunity to see what rising from failure looks like. As a boss, it is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate honesty, integrity, and fearlessness in the process.
Doing too much and failing can create a new opportunity of working collaboratively with others in the future.
If you have failed from a lack of knowledge, asking others for input can show how ingenuity and innovation are formed.
When a new process flow breaks down, you can learn better ways to evaluate effectiveness, thoroughly audit, or measure performance.
Failure can be of benefit when you learn from it and become better as an individual or as a team.
A boss who fails fearlessly and recovers gallantly can be a role model to others.
Both relatable and admirable, a boss who falls with grace can inspire others to take on challenges with confidence.
Whether you have recently been promoted or have been leading others for years, there is always an opportunity to be the best boss you can be.
Being boss is more than telling others what to do, but owning all aspects of influence that you have on your team.
Being authentic, accountable to others, and fearless when facing failure are all ways that you can connect with your team and create a culture of openness and comfort.
When team members feel empowered and supported to succeed, they will see you not only as a boss but as a mentor and trusted colleague.
Give the best of yourself to your team and reap the benefits of success that only the best bosses get to achieve.
Are you a boss that gives the most with the best skills? Share your best practices in the Comments below and help someone else become the best at being boss too!
The decision to change jobs is not always easy. You may be onboard with not wanting the job you have but how do you really know it’s time for a job change?
One of the hardest parts of making a decision is when you have no idea where to start. A job change can feel like one of those hard decisions.
Choice is an endless burden when the information you need to make a decision is not available.
How do you know what job is right for you?
If you change jobs, how do you know if you won’t have the same problems as before?
When selecting a new job, how will you know if you made the right decision?
Reducing the questions and building confidence in your decision through self evaluation can help to ensure you know whether or not it is time to leave your job.
Am I Making the Right Decision to Change Jobs?
When you are making a job change decision or any decision, it is important to feel connected with your thoughts on the subject.
Taking a moment of self evaluation can go a long way to solidify a sense of certainty and trust within yourself and your decision-making.
Before you evaluate the state of your job, it is important to examine your level of trust in your decision.
Do you trust yourself to make sound decisions?
Are you comfortable with living with the consequence of your decisions?
Do you put more faith in outside opinion than your own internal judgment?
Have you developed a habit of questioning decisions once you have made them or staying in indecision?
If you suffer from some or all of these circumstances then it is important to first address your insecurities within yourself. You may not be able to fully transition your state of mind before you are faced with making a job change decision. But minimally you should acknowledge that fear, lack of trust, or indecision may have an impact on your evaluation of your next best steps.
Knowing when to change jobs is a practical and yet emotional decision and for these reasons should be made with great care.
Let’s examine a few scenarios where a job change may be warranted that can help to further solidify your decision to change your job.
Job Change Scenario #1: A Terrible Company Culture
When you don’t feel good about the environment that you work in it may be due to the company’s culture.
Company culture can include what the business stands for, the common values shared by the employees, or how it treats its employees. Examine if your company may be a bad culture fit for you.
For example, if you believe that business practices are not being handled responsibly, professionally, or ethically, you naturally may want to leave.
Your company may not work with ethical partners, may not follow proper safety rules, or may condone employees speaking or acting unprofessionally with each other.
These types of work environments can make you question your own integrity for working for the company, make you question if you are in a safe environment, or may even make you feel as if you are in a toxic environment.
Other evidence of poor company culture is a lack of response by the business when you express problems with the work environment or business practices.
No business can control every action taken by every person within its walls. But a good company will react quickly, professionally, and with proper sensitivity when things go wrong.
Neglect to complaints or serious infractions of the law, company policy, or professional business conduct can be clear reasons to want a job change. Constant exposure to a poor company culture can be a drain on your energy and may render you in conflict with your personal standards and ethics.
Job Change Tips When Company Culture is Important
When transitioning jobs, company culture can be as important or more important than the work itself. The environment that the business promotes can have a direct impact on your productivity, sense of belonging, and connection with the business.
Take confidence in your decision to move on for these reasons and prepare a plan of action so you do not mistakenly experience the same issues at the next job.
When exploring other job opportunities, look to see what type of culture the business promotes:
Review the company website, job posting, or any other published work to see how it describes its culture, mission, vision, or core values. See the intention behind the company culture the business promotes to have.
Research to see if any customers, vendors, staff, or community members have rendered opinions or reviews about the company using apps and websites like Glassdoor, Indeed, or the Better Business Bureau.
Investigate to see the associations the business has with other business entities, professional associations, and community projects. Where a business invests its resources or donates time to charitable causes can reflect on its priorities.
Above all, use your interview as an opportunity to ask direct questions regarding company culture. Don’t hesitate to ask for real examples of how their values show up on a day-to-day basis. Companies that focus on strong ethics and positive engagement share this openly to gain the attention of future employees with similar values.
Finding and evaluating a company to have strong business ethics and conduct can help to build your confidence with making your job change decision.
Job Change Scenario #2: Limited Access to Professional Growth
Another potential poor company fit is when the company or your boss does not focus on professional development.
Professional development neglect can take the form of:
Limited options for position advancement due to the business structure, lack of systems, or lack of leadership support
No means to increase compensation, benefits, or other retention incentives to support independent development investment
Lack of focus or financial support on continued education, training, or other professional development
When broadening your skills or furthering your career is important to you but is not important to your business then it may be time to find a company aligned with your priorities.
While you are always in the position to manifest your own growth opportunities, you cannot live to your fullest potential if you feel hindered from being your best by your current job. Your job change reason may solely be to find a company that aligns with your long-term career goals.
Professional Development Tips
Companies who prioritize investment in their staff are often proud to share it.
Professional development is not a requirement of any business but many offer options to be competitive and as part of their culture. Examples include:
Education sponsorship or course reimbursement
On-the-job training, mentorship, or coaching
Flexible work schedules to accommodate attending in-person classes, exams, or studying needs
Leadership or vocational development programs, including on-and off-site assignments, multi-year programs, and rotation programs
Interviewing with Professional Development in Mind
When professional development is a priority, be sure to examine this closely in your future interview process.
Ask questions not only about what programs exist but eligibility requirements
Share what you intend as the plan for your future and see how a new company is structured to support your plan
Learn the number and types of options, particularly as you continue your career path with the company over time. Some opportunities are only available after you have had some tenure.
Be mindful that professional development opportunities and the long-term vision related to this subject may be different based on the size of the company. Therefore tailor your questions according to what is reasonable to expect for the size and scope of the business and the role to which you are applying.
Discussing professional development during an interview can feel uncomfortable at times. Some business representatives may get nervous that you are more interested in what is ahead versus the job available now. Always balance your discussion with how you will fulfill the immediate needs of the business.
It is important that you project interest in the role available as well as long-term opportunities to invest in your career growth with the company. When you can align on both the current job opportunity and your future ambitions, you and the company can feel more confident in working together.
Job Change Scenario #3: Toxic Work Environment
Another reason for a job change is when your relationship with the company has been tarnished in some way.
Maybe you have had some type of stigma or bias against you. Maybe you feel disconnected or feel wronged by your boss, department, leadership, or company practices.
Poor business relationships can create a toxic work environment filled with targeting, harassment, micro-managing, and gaslighting. None of these behaviors are healthy for work or your mental health and well-being.
When a toxic environment exists and reporting it does not resolve the issue or you feel it would make things worse, it’s time to find a new company and create a clean slate for yourself.
Examine further, however, if you are ready for that move.
Self Evaluating After Exposure to a Toxic Work Environment
Extended time in a toxic work environment can have negative effects on your mental, emotional, and physical well-being. And while it is a valid reason to leave a job, the reality is that you may not be in the best condition to search and interview for a new job.
Be mindful that working in a toxic environment for a length of time can create different patterns in your behavior. You may have become overly suspicious, watchful, and sensitive to others’ words or actions.
You may not currently be in your best state of mind and this imbalance can travel with you to a new job. Be aware of how past feelings of distrust may impact your ability to transition to an unfamiliar environment.
Examine through others the level of impact on your person that you may not recognize. Connect with family, friends, and possibly a therapist to work through the emotional scarring that may have occurred.
While working in a stressed environment can be taxing, starting a new job in a new environment carries its own level of stress.
Take time to evaluate whether or not starting a new endeavor helps or hurts your situation at this time.
If you have the financial stability to do so, you may want to take a break between jobs to get yourself emotionally readied for your path ahead.
With timing, self care, and preparedness in mind, when you have experienced a toxic work environment at your current job, it likely imperative to start your plan to make a job change.
Toxic Work Environment Transition Tips
Working in a toxic work environment can bring to the surface many thoughts and emotions that simply are not positive. While valid for your current job, it is important to transition your state of mind to a positive outlook for your future position.
Most employers are searching for a person capable to do the job that they have available AND a person who is happy and excited to take on the new opportunity.
Considering these steps when making your transition:
Set the proper energy and focus for your interview. Place your attention on the positive aspects of the new opportunity and speak neutrally about your old job. Never slander or recount negative experiences but instead focus on any learnings you may have gained from your past experience. Always be professional as your goal is to represent your best self.
Learn about the onboarding process and specifically how new hires are integrated within your department or with others. See if the new business has systems in place to foster positive relationships and an overall collaborative working environment
Talk to your direct manager about their leadership style, expectations they have around performance, and how they define a winning team. Understanding your potential manager’s way of leading can help you determine if you will be compatible in the future.
Ask whether or not a tour of the working environment is possible or if you can speak with an experienced team member. Gaining first-hand knowledge of the business will allow you more direct exposure to the relationships that already exist and the general tone of the environment as a whole.
Take special effort to find a company that represents the way you want to be treated and feel confident that your job change is the right decision.
BonusJob Change Scenario: I Just Don’t Like My Current Job
It may seem like it’s not enough, but it is possible to simply not like your current job. There is no reason to feel that you have to justify your reason any more than confirming confidently to yourself how you feel.
When you feel a disconnect with your current job, it is important to pay attention to the signs. Work is more than where you earn money or get trained for developing your skills. It also is a significant part of your daily life and contributes to your total well-being in life.
Choosing a job that you enjoy in addition to it satisfying your basic needs is possible and can make you more balanced in your life overall.
That said, if you enjoy your work but do not like the specific job then your next steps are to create your exit plan. When developing your plan do your best to identify what you didn’t like in your last experience so you do not recreate it in your future!
And, don’t worry, no matter the reason that you elect to leave your job these tips can still be applied.
Exit Plan Tips
Make a firm decision to move forward with leaving your job. If you need a little encouragement, read my article on The Best Affirmations for Confidence When Quitting Your Job. In addition to providing empowering words, this post reviews the self-affirming steps of validating your decision to yourself.
Develop a job search plan for your new job. This ideally will include the work you prefer to do, the opposite experience of what you have at your current job, and what key elements are part of your ideal or dream job. If looking for more inspiration for your preparation read How to Get the Job You Really Want for more ideas.
Prepare an updated resume. This is a critical step as your resume is many times the first impression your new job will have of you. If you are not familiar with creating a resume, it may be better to get help from family, or friends, or to hire a professional. Even if you prepare one yourself, always have another person proofread your end result. If you need assistance with creating your update, take a look at my Tools for the Best Resume Rebuild Ever.
Get interview ready. In addition to the recommendations outlined within this post, be sure to have any important interview questions prepared and written down. Ensure your clothing, transportation, and state of mind are ready so that you can create the best impression. Most of all, remember that an interview includes you. Always ensure that you are observant of the impression you receive from the business. Because you are evaluating them as much as they are evaluating you.
A job change may be a difficult decision. Learning what has motivated this decision within you can help to define if this change is right for you.
It is important to know what may be wrong with the job you have. But it is more important to know yourself and what you need in your career and job environment to be your best in any business environment.
Take time to consider your options, define your desires, and then prepare your next steps toward the right job change for you.
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Knowing that you are about to take on a job search can be intimidating. Especially if you have no idea how to approach getting the job that you really want.
As with many things, having a defined goal backed by a well-focused plan can put you in the best position to be successful.
To find the job that you really want, your plan MUST include identifying what is important to you.
Your ideal job is more than what you do. It’s also achieving the broader goals you seek to accomplish through doing your job. With a clear goal in mind, you can then set a task list. A successful job search with direction and focus will land you the job you want.
Here are 5 Steps to make you feel confident and prepared in getting the job you really want:
Step 1: Define Your Dream Job
Your first step is reserving time to independently define what you want in a job. Then write it all down.
This work can clearly state what you are competent in doing now. Or can define what you have an interest in or passion to learn as part of your career growth.
You may want to stretch yourself with more challenging tasks or with a higher volume. Maybe you feel that you are ready for leadership. Alternatively, you could be tired of leading others and now desire a more independent job.
The important part is to focus on what you will enjoy or what you will feel fulfilled in doing.
Do not be fooled by focusing only on what you are good at. If it does not fit the criteria of what you really want to do, it does not need to be on your list.
Clarity Brings Your Dream Job Into Reality
Beyond the actual work, it is important to clarify the full work experience that you are seeking. Your goal is to be aligned with where you work and who you work with, in addition to the job that you do.
The more life that you bring to your vision, the clearer it will become.
Define what you want to do, where you want to do it, and for whom. With this, you can better understand where you will truly fit in. Answer questions like these for clarity:
Do I prefer to work on specific tasks or open-ended projects where I get to define how to get it done?
Am I more productive working shoulder-to-shoulder with my boss or do I need space to be independent in my thinking?
Is a think-tank environment better for my brainstorming or do I prefer quiet to collect my thoughts and creative ideas?
Your job environment can be an important factor in your productivity, stress level, and general optimism around your work.
Once you have finished your list, take time to review it once or twice more. Ensure that you have examined your desires from different perspectives and have not, unintendedly, left anything out.
Now it may feel foreign to seriously consider and incorporate in your search all that you have defined. You may want to compromise and tell yourself that you are asking for too much.
Save the edits for the end, never include them in the beginning.
Start your search with the highest of expectations first before you negotiate against yourself.
Remember your goal is to get the job you really want. Aiming for a low target from the start only ensures that you will fall short of reaching your higher goal.
Step 2: Clarify the Reason You Want Your Future Job
Another part of assessing what you want in a job is to consider its purpose for you. Everyone does not go to work for the same reason.
Identifying your “why” can put your strategy for obtaining the job that you want into better focus.
For some, your next job is the next logical step in your career progression. So put yourself in a position to gain skills and experiences to further your growth in your field. For others, you may want to take a less taxing role while you work on a degree or certification.
Still, others may have no vested interest in a career. Instead, you simply need benefits for your family. Or you may prioritize schedule flexibility to pursue your passion projects outside of work. Maybe you just need a side-hustle while you get your own business off the ground.
Your “why” will have a direct correlation with the right job for you. Your investment of time, energy, and commitment to the job that you seek to have will be dictated by your why.
It will also serve as your continued motivation to stay at a job because it genuinely meets your needs. That is why from the very beginning you want to clearly define your reasons for working.
Don’t create an imbalanced expectation for a job to fulfill your needs when it was never set up to do so from the beginning. Know what you are signing up for, and why, and target the job you really want in your search.
Step 3: Sell Your Best Self to the Job You Want
Now that you have covered all the bases of what you want and why, you need to create the tool that you will use to share your story.
A resume is the most common form of communication with your potential new employer.
This document will give you the opportunity to highlight your relevant skills and tenure in your field. Also, it allows you to share accomplishments important to you and relevant to the hiring manager.
The best resumes are those that convey a solid story. Allow the reader to understand your journey and the logical progression leading to where you want to be today.
Sometimes your resume cannot tell the entire story. Or you may have made a unique turn on your career path. In these cases, you may consider including a cover letter to fill in the gaps.
These documents are your voice before you speak in an interview or have an exploratory call about the job. It represents not only your work history but your communication style and personality.
The magic of the resume writing process is in only sharing your skills, education, and accomplishments that reflect what you actually want to do. Your highlighted accomplishments should only include those experiences that you want to use in the future.
Employers are looking for talent that can be successful in fixing their problems. If you tell the story of ALL that you did, including the parts that you hated doing, you are selling yourself to a job you don’t really want.
For this reason, it is important to be careful and thoughtful regarding the resume and cover letter content.
Review closely for errors, omissions, and overall consistency. Ensure that you focus on sharing relevant content that is useful to the position you are applying to.
Strategically customize your resume, directing your future employer to what you want to do now. Do not blindly list every single thing that you did in your past.
Now that you have prepared your communication tool, you are ready to move forward. Apply to job advertisements, speak with your network, and participate in interviews with clarity and confidence.
Step 4: Get Your Marketing Team Ready
Now that you have defined your ideal job and you have a tool to share your story, you can build your support team to help you get the job that you want.
Engaging your network in your job search really only works after you have clarified your employment goals. Your family, friends, co-workers, and professional contacts can all act as ambassadors for who you are and what you want to do. And with the perfect job in mind, you are likely to pass this information on with enthusiasm.
Encourage your ambassadors to share your passion as well as your qualifications to strengthen your marketing campaign even more.
Prepare Your Network to Be Successful in Your Search
You want to prep your network with the added details that will not be on a resume. For example, if you would love to work close to home, let them know the radius of your search. If you would like to work flexible hours, let them know your ideal schedule.
Take heed, it is always better to pass on positive details only.
People tend to repeat exactly what you tell them. And if you have specifications that could appear negative you may not want those repeated.
Even if you have had negative experiences in the past, concentrate on what you would prefer from your new experience. Then share this version, your list of positive wants, with your network. This will help ensure your message is conveyed in the proper manner and spirit.
Your future job has a marketing strategy to get their job vacancy filled successfully. You want to ensure that you also have a marketing strategy to get the job that you want.
Step 5: Focus Your Search on the Ideal Job
Structuring your search is more than talking to your network. It also includes putting yourself out for the world to see.
Job posting boards are useful tools where you can upload your resume in addition to searching for openings in your area.
When you need more discretion, only apply directly to the open position. And refrain from posting your resume publicly.
When combing through job listings, consider these points:
Research companies that have the job content that fits your skill set.
Don’t forget to consider the company culture that you want or need. The feel of a company can be just important as the work you will do. Company culture can be a significant contributor as to whether or not you are comfortable working anywhere long-term.
When responding to job posts, take the time to truly read the advertisements (not just titles). Scan for the finer details that may hit more points on your wants list.
Be open to looking beyond the title as a perfect job can be hidden behind a poorly titled post.
If connecting with recruiters, use this person-to-person opportunity to tell details beyond your resume. Whether the recruiter works for the company or not, they will represent you to the decision maker. Ensure your customized job preferences are well-defined for them. Remember, clarity, enthusiasm, and focus on your goals are the right tools for sharing your story well and getting the job that you want.
When you keep your vision of where you want to be at the forefront, you approach your search differently. It’s much more than if you qualify for a job.
Instead, it’s whether or not the job qualifies to make your list of what you really want.
Bonus Tip: A Winning Mindset Is Key
Creating a plan for success is important to gaining success. But you have to believe in your plan and that your goal is achievable for you.
Mindset is EVERYTHING on this journey.
Without the proper mindset, you are simply completing tasks on a checklist and half-heartedly wishing for the best.
There is a difference between knowing that you can accomplish your goal and hoping that you can accomplish your goal.
And that difference is the difference between getting the job you want or settling for a job you can get.
Be an active participant in permitting your dreams to be possible by letting your desires be serious expectations in your life.
Your thoughts can become things when you stand in a place of acceptance and gratitude.
Work for yourself and not against yourself. And you will see the results of your efforts come together in creating the job opportunity that you seek.
If you are ready to live the life that you prefer to live, then call out and expect what you want to happen.
Take the inspired actions that lead you towards the job you really want and be ready to receive it.
Should We Review Your Action Steps for the Job You Want?
Turning in your resignation is only one step in leaving your job. You have many steps ahead until you finally walk out the door.
You may be all too ready to close the chapter from the job that you are leaving. However, you may still be with that job for weeks or months until your final day comes.
It’s tempting to go into “I don’t care” mode after you announced your intentions to leave. But why make your final days uncomfortable for you and everyone around you?
Instead, use this time in between to set your world in order. Collect resources, clear your plate, and prepare for a clean start to a new chapter.
Creating a job exit plan with these goals in mind can help ensure that crossing the bridge from old to new is as seamless and stress-free as possible. Here are a few steps to consider on this journey:
1. Take a Self Inventory
Reconfirm Your Why
You would not have gotten this far into your transition without knowing why you wanted to leave your job. However, in these final days or weeks, you may revisit whether or not you have made the right decision.
Your co-workers ask why you are leaving the job.
Your employer extends a counter-offer to entice you to stay.
Positive interactions with others at your business may cause you to feel nostalgic regarding the better parts of your job.
Next thing that you know you are doubting yourself and your decision! Maybe you didn’t give your current job enough of a chance.
Reconfirming your “why” can help to ensure that you maintain focus on what brought you to the decision to leave.
You chose to leave your job on purpose and with reason.
Your purpose was to improve your life in some way.
Your reason was that you assessed that your current job could not achieve this purpose.
Your re-enforcement of your “why” is a reconfirmation that you made the best decision for yourself.
Be detailed with yourself about why your new job benefits your future while you work to close this chapter of your past.
Monitor Your Stress Levels
Even though you may be very excited about your new opportunity, right now you are planning a move and moving is stressful.
Change has many unpredictable parts that can take you from your day-to-day flow and therefore cause stress.
It is important to attempt to identify stressors and to actively plan ahead to reduce or diminish them altogether.
Be proactive with your manager, co-workers, and other business contacts to ensure that you are meeting their transition needs.
At the same time, be proactive about setting realistic expectations for yourself.
You will not always be able to complete special close-out projects and your normal daily job duties at the same time.
Surprisingly, your last days of work can often be your busiest.
When everyone wants to extract key information from you before you exit you can feel pulled in 1000 directions. Be open and collaborative about creating priorities.
This helps to take the burden off of you while tying up all loose ends for others before you leave.
Professionalism is always key and demonstrates your personal brand well.
But it is also important to respect yourself and your needs too.
Set boundaries that demonstrate respect for your time and your own stress management.
You have resigned for a reason and there is no need to overextend yourself for a job that is no longer part of your future.
2. Prepare for Outside Influence
What People Do You Need on Your Team
Your closest friend and colleagues may have acted as a support team as you worked through finding your new job.
These same trusted partners can also be your resources as you work through leaving your current job.
Many people have undergone the experience of moving from one job to another.
It may be worth exploring others’ past experiences to ensure you leave no stone unturned.
Ask questions of your friends and family about what went well or went wrong when they transitioned their jobs.
They may provide you with advice that you didn’t expect and add to your prep list at a critical time.
Additionally, you may need mental support for the change.
One or two people can make the difference between feeling as if you are traversing the desert alone or having an entire caravan walking the path with you.
Choosing the right ambassadors in support of your change can function as much-needed practical support, planning power, and personal upliftment.
What People Do You Need to Drop From Your Team
When hearing of your pending exit, you may start to feel a change in the air around you.
Inside and outside of work, others may become jealous, resentful, or even dismissive of you.
You have somehow wronged them or the business you work for by striving for your own best interests.
It is normal for others to become overly self-focused on your decision to leave. You are the change, the center of what is stopping normal from being normal.
This is particularly true if it affects them directly in any way.
Those who work with you may feel your absence as their burden, taking on more work or more hours.
If you have done your job well, your absence may signify the loss of a quality resource or dependable partner.
While you cannot change that you are leaving, you can at least empathize with their discomfort. And if you cannot muster empathy, at least be prepared that their reaction may be of impact to you.
In some cases, your co-workers are troubled because you took a step they were not prepared to take.
Changing jobs takes courage, shows self-growth, and promotes the reality that better opportunity exists for those wanting to take them.
You may also remind your co-workers of their own desire to leave. However, unlike you, they are either not able or capable today to make the change.
The thought of you leaving them in the place that they desperately want to leave can be beyond frustrating.
Navigating around others’ misplaced tension toward you can make your final days awkward and uncomfortable.
But don’t let someone else’s triggers trigger you and distract you from your positive mindset.
Remember, someone else’s reaction to your decision to leave is not your fault. And it is not your problem to fix.
While you cannot change others’ personal opinions, you can arm yourself with self-reassurance of your own opinion.
Focus primarily on your intent to do the best for yourself and to be the best toward others.
The more positive interactions that you can participate in with them can help to soften everyone’s experience through the change.
3. Recognize Your Employment Status Change
You may not realize it immediately, but once you turned in your resignation your job changed.
You officially are no longer a normal employee but instead an “exiting employee”.
Exiting [fill in your job title] is now your line of work.
Every position is different so the significance of this change of status may vary from one person to the next. But ultimately there is one common factor.
You now must include in your job duties everything that relates to your exit.
What does this mean in practical terms?
You must be prepared to take the things that you can and lose access to the things that you can’t take with you.
For example, medical, prescription, and vision benefits may end weeks after you exit or on your last day.
You should know if you need to schedule any physicians’ visits before you lose access to benefits.
Supplemental benefits like life insurance, disability, or retirement funds may have special protocols for transferring when you leave.
Also, you may be forced to rollover your 401(k) if you only have a small amount in your retirement account.
Or you may want to rollover your 401(k) but have not done this before. Now is the time to learn how.
The overall point is that there are mechanics involved in leaving a company. You have to de-enroll the same way that you had to enroll when you started.
If you are unable to educate yourself independently on these policies, schedule time with your manager or HR to ensure you are educated before you go.
And don’t believe that everything that happened at your last job or someone else’s applies to your current situation.
Termination rules can change from company to company based on many factors. Check what applies to you directly from your company so that you get the most accurate information.
Packing Your Desk May Mean More Than You Thought
Think about digital or hardcopy materials that are important to you.
Be prepared to inventory what you want to take with you. Always ensure that what you are considering taking does not violate any company policies or signed agreements.
You certainly don’t want to create new problems as you are leaving your job. So be diligent in your audit but also thoughtful about your process.
Documents, checklists, training, or support materials may be needed resources.
You may have written your own procedures that may simplify your work or have learned shortcuts that may be an excellent future reference.
Additionally, be sure to store or confirm co-worker contact information that you may need to connect with in the future.
It is a perfect time to not only update contact information but to reconnect directly if time permits.
Keeping relationships fresh and relevant when you still are with your past employer can make it much more natural when you connect after you leave.
Lastly, a significant thing to consider is the intangible assets from your job.
As you close this chapter, it is an excellent time for reflection.
While your past job is not your current desire, see that it built the bridge to your future.
Your old job was the catalyst inspiring your need for more. It motivated your movement forward.
Respect your past job and its purpose for presence in your life by recognizing its contribution to knowing yourself better.
In this way, your job was not a hindrance or an inconvenience but a stepping stone toward broader insight. It was a gift.
Take this gift, your experiences, and your connections as part of your final steps of transition to your new job.
Feeling Ready to Move Forward to Your Next Chapter?
Remember these steps:
Take a Self Inventory Remember your “why”, stay focused on your moving forward, and leave a trail of positivity behind you.
Prepare for Outside Influence Have your cheerleaders by your side and keep your naysayers at arm’s length while you finish your last-tasks checklist.
Recognize Your Employment Status Change You are officially a different employee. Pack your bags and pack thoroughly. Make sure you educate yourself well on exit policies and collect all the materials and contact info you need.
No matter why you are leaving your job, be sure to take the positive from the experience. It brought you to where you are today.
Because of your old job, you manifested your new job. And you are ready for your new day!
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