So you want to quit your job? Advice on when and how to move on

Hello Communication Minded friends, the last week of the month means it’s time to hear from a new guest blogger! This time we have contributor, and another fellow alum, Eric Hunnicutt. Eric graduated from UNCW in May of 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a minor in Information Technology. While our guests have usually come from the marketing field, Eric’s recent career transitions in his own field have provided him with some valuable insight that we think all young professionals should hear!

So you want to quit your job? Advice on when and how to move on

“Congratulations! You’ve graduated AND landed your first job right out of school. Don’t you feel relieved? Your friends are searching frantically looking for a position but you have everything lined up…or so you thought. Let’s face it, for most people their first job out of school isn’t their dream job. But believe me when I say I am incredibly grateful for the first post-graduate opportunity I was given. However, I also knew from the get go it wasn’t necessarily something I wanted to do for long.

Deciding when to start looking for other gainful employment really depends on the situation. Personally, even after accepting my first job, I never stopped looking for another. Some of the limitations I began to feel with my first employer could also be ones that you might be experiencing as well:

  • You’ve exhausted your opportunities to grow
  • There’s little room for advancement
  • You feel as if you are no longer learning
  • You want to make more money
  • You simply don’t really like what you are doing

This period of wanting to do well in your current position but also advance your career can be tricky to navigate. Just as there is etiquette to follow when searching for a job, there is a similar code of conduct to be followed when leaving.

  1. When the day finally comes type up a letter of resignation, it doesn’t have to be long or verbose – just state the last day you’re available to work for them and thank them for the opportunity they have given you. Print and sign two copies of your letter. Deliver one to your boss and one to the HR department so they can begin the search to find your replacement as soon as possible.
  2. Give your current employer as much of a heads up to your departure as you can. It’s just the professional thing to do. Be courteous of your employer and realize they will have to take on the task of filling the vacancy and then training and transitioning a new hire.
  3. Leave room on the table for negotiation. If your employer really wants to keep you in the position you’re in they may be willing to counter offer. After receiving an offer from a potential employer I went to my boss and let him know. He then took this to his supervisors who put together a counter offer. If a competitive counter offer is presented, you will have to decide whether or not a financial motivator is large enough to offset the other limitations you may be experiencing.
  4. Once you turn in your resignation, continue to be professional. One of the biggest things I can’t stress enough is you shouldn’t change how you work after you’ve submitted your resignation. Stay the course and work just as diligently as you always have – if not more so. Don’t let your reputation leave with you. Keep it intact so your professional relationships remain there as well. You never know where you or the people you’re leaving behind will end up. Those people may be someone who could help or hurt your career down the road. Just don’t chance it.
  5. Don’t be afraid to tell your coworkers after you resign. It is polite to personally let them know and tell them how much of a pleasure it was working with them, especially if you work in close quarters or on a small team. Animosity between my coworkers and I was honestly the thing I feared most. I thought they would be angry with me for leaving. In the end they completely understood why I wanted to leave – I wanted the opportunity to grow and wanted to make more money. Chances are the people you’re expressing your leave to have been in the same situation before – they will understand.

Don’t doubt yourself or your decisions. When I resigned everyone expressed how much they’d miss me and they hated to see me leave, but at the same time how excited they were for me! It’s a good probability that yours will also do the same, take that as a sign that you have made the right decision in moving on to a position with more responsibility, leadership, or money. If you feel as if you’ve reached your potential then branch out! You’ll never know where your career can take you if you don’t strive to keep moving forward and further.”

Eric Hunnicutt

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Eric Hunnicutt currently holds a position as a Technology Support Analyst at East Carolina University. For further contact you can reach him on his Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts.

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One thought on “So you want to quit your job? Advice on when and how to move on

  1. Pingback: Fear – let it mobilize not disable you | Communication Minded

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