According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, the average person will have 10 different jobs by the age of forty. Some of the most common reasons people leave their jobs include limited opportunities to use their skills, bad management, poor company culture, lack of advancement, too much or too little work, and lack of acknowledgement/benefits. Professional transitions are perfectly normal. However, the important thing is to make sure it is done for the right reasons and in the right manner.
Below are 5 key strategies for effectively managing professional transitions.
1. Make it about you.
A professional transition should be focused on your needs and wants. Take the time to make a list of your non-negotiables in a workplace environment. This can be anything from management style to corporate culture to benefits and compensation, and everything in between.
Developing questions will help you determine if a company has the characteristics that are most important to you. When you interview, be sure to get your questions answered!
2. Lead with passion and purpose.
If you choose to make a professional transition, make sure your new opportunity affords you the ability to pursue your passion and purpose. What this really means is that you first need to take the time to identify what that means to you before leaving one position for another.
That said, no one job is likely to check off all the boxes. However, a new job should provide you with the opportunity to pursue your passion. Maybe this just means better compensation so that you can afford to spend your free time away from work participating in your passion. Or maybe this means your new job involves something that truly inspires you.
Either way, make sure your new job allows you to pursue your passion.
3. Value yourself.
We are often our own worst critics. And if we are in the same job long enough, we often let it begin to define our worth. But if a job is not affording you the opportunity to maximize your skills or inspiring you to reach your full potential, then it is not a reflection of your true value.
When making a professional transition, take some time to self-reflect on your strengths and weaknesses and value yourself appropriately. If you do not know your professional value, how can you expect someone else to know?
4. Exit graciously (and let others save face.)
Remember that you are leaving this job for yourself. How you leave a job says more about you than anything else. Give proper notice, participate in an exit interview, help with a smooth transition, continue to contribute to the best of your ability through your final day, etc.
If given the opportunity to share why you are leaving, be constructive and factual while checking your emotions at the door and allowing others to save face. This sets a positive tone for future interactions and speaks volumes about your integrity.
5. Acknowledge and embrace change.
A professional transition can be exciting and terrifying at the same time. Know that the honeymoon period will wear off and there will be some hurdles along the way. Rather than fading to buyer’s remorse, recognize ahead of time this will happen and embrace new challenges.
Work should be a lot of great things, and the challenge is one of them.
Bonus: For entrepreneurs leaving traditional jobs and starting their own businesses, all of these keys apply.
First, know what you want your employees to get out of working for your company.
Second, lead with passion and purpose and you will inspire others to do the same.
Third, evaluate your employees early and often.
Fourth, like yourself, this will likely not be the last job for some of your employees. In your employee handbook, be sure to include a paragraph of your expectations for anyone who chooses to make a professional transition.
Lastly, acknowledge and embrace the new adventure. You will be your own boss, make your own hours, and do things your way — which is awesome. You will also likely be working harder, longer and more intensely than ever before.
To learn more about being the steward of your own professional success, check out The BUILD Framework® Online Course.