If you’re not enjoying our job or you know you’re ready to move on then you need to develop an exit strategy. Having an exit strategy helps you focus on finding something new and means you avoid getting stuck.
What is an Exit Strategy?
An exit strategy is essentially a plan of escape! By committing to devising a plan you are starting a process of change that will lead you to a new job within a relatively short space of time. You are taking control of your situation which helps you to feel more positive about what next.
What to include in your Exit Strategy:
Set a Time Limit
Maybe you don’t want to be at your Company’s next Christmas party or you simply want to be in a different role within 2 months. Whatever, it is set yourself a target to motivate yourself and avoid drift. Be realistic though and take into account your notice period and how long it takes to go through the recruitment process.
Identify your Criteria for your next Role
It can be tempting to take the first role that is offered to you but you need to make sure you are taking the right role. Make a list of what you want from your next job and divide it into essential and desirable. Be clear about what you might compromise on and what is non-negotiable. This can include practical things like location, commuting time, salary, working hours and type of organisation, as well as areas key to job satisfaction such as more responsibility/challenge, opportunity to manage others, learning/training opportunities, potential to grow and develop in the role, or an element of work that you don’t want to do any more. Be specific about what you want.
Seek Opportunities to Upskill
Maximise the time in your current job. Focus on opportunities to make yourself more marketable. Consider any gaps you may have and seek opportunities to gain new skills or experiences that potential new employers would value and that will make your CV stand out. Be proactive and ask for what you want. For example, if you want to manage staff in your next role, ask your current boss if you can supervises/mentor a more junior member of staff or an intern.
Rewrite your CV & LinkedIn profile
Your CV will get you an interview so make sure it’s up to date. Add new achievements and start tailoring it to the kind of role you are looking for. Read more on how to create a CV with impact here. Then up date your LinkedIn profile so it reflects your CV, or if you haven’t got a profile start building one now.
Schedule some Time
Job searching can take a lot of time so you need to work out when you are going to do it. Perhaps you can set aside a couple of evenings a week to work on your job search and ring fence that time. Get more tips on creating time and motivating yourself to job search here.
Talk to People
Review and develop your network – who can help you in your job search. Book some coffee meetings with contacts who can advise you on who’s recruiting, give you feedback on your CV or could be a warm contact at a company you want to work for. And look out for who you can help too – what goes around, comes around!
Keep your Confidence High
Find ways to boost your confidence until you achieve your exit. If you’e not enjoying your job or you’ve had a rejection from a job you wanted then you can start to feel dejected. Try keeping an achievement journal where you record your daily work achievements (also useful for interview examples), start collecting pieces of positive feedback from clients, colleagues or your boss, or do something outside work, such as sport, creative hobby or volunteering, that makes you feel good.
Make it a priority to devise your exit strategy now so you can stay focused and motivated to change your job and make a successful move to something new.
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