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Switch jobs with grace and decorum

Friday, August 22nd, 2014
Issue 34, Volume 18.

Women leave jobs for various reasons. Some women cite disparities in pay, an inability to advance through the company or incompatibility with a particlar place of business as their reasons for seeking new employment, while others leave jobs to take time off for family obligations, only to reenter the workforce at a later time.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics say the average person changes jobs 10 to 15 times (with an average of 11 job changes) over the course of a career. Reports about employees in Fortune 500 companies have found, while women make up nearly 50 percent of these companies, they represent just 7.5 percent of top earners. Dissatisfaction with their income encourages some women to look for greener pastures.

Transitioning between jobs is common, but professionals can take certain steps to ensure their transition works out for them and does not burn any bridges along they way.

• Have a definitive reason for leaving. It’s foolish to change jobs on a whim. Be clear about why you are leaving and whether problems can be remedied by speaking up or if leaving for another company really is the best solution. Having firm reasons for your resignation will enable you to leave with more confidence and conviction.

• Provide enough notice to the company. If you have been working in a particularly poor environment, it may be tempting to run out the door even before your written resignation has finished printing. This may not bode well for future recommendations and leave your name tarnished within the industry. Instead, give ample notice and find a mutually acceptable window of time in which your position will be filled. While two weeks is standard, Advertisement
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some positions may require more or less time. It’s best not to drag your exit out too long though.

• Meet with your boss first. Don’t let a boss find out about your intentions to leave the company through the workplace gossip mill. It is always more professional to keep plans to yourself and show your boss the respect of hearing about your decision to leave first. Do so in person and not over the phone or via email.

• Continue to do your job to the best of your abilities. Giving notice is not a ticket to goofing off or participating in an office vacation. Slacking off damages good will and is a surefire way to burn some bridges. Put in your best effort until the day you leave the company behind.

• Avoid making negative comments. When discussing your reasons for leaving, be diplomatic but honest. Similarly, do not talk poorly about your former job to your new employer. You may inadvertently portray yourself as a disgruntled employee. Furthermore, word travels fast within many industries, and a loose tongue may compromise future networking opportunities.

• Maintain decorum even if it was not your idea to leave. Being fired or downsized can hurt, particularly when you thought you were doing a good job. Remain cool and always be professional. How you conduct yourself when facing adversity could speak well to your future employers.

William Shakespeare may have said that a person is remembered for his entrances and exits, and this is particularly true in the workforce. When it is time to leave an employment position for a new one, do so with grace and humility.



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