Today's blog post is written by Jordan D. She has a Supply Chain Management degree from Michigan State University and works in Detroit, MI in inventory management. As you'll learn from her post below, she has experience working for multiple companies and spent time working in Minneapolis, MN.
Transitioning from your first job out of college to the next is a crucial point in your professional career. As a “millennial,” the decision to switch jobs didn’t come on a whim for me. I understand the stigma attached to our generation and our pattern of “job hopping.” I knew I didn’t want to leave my first job on a bad note and that’s why I was open and honest throughout the process. My situation was unique - I wasn’t leaving for more money or a new opportunity, I was moving home for family reasons. Regardless, I was adamant about leaving on the best terms possible. Here is how I went about the process of finding a new job and leaving on good terms:
Reason for Leaving
There are many reasons for leaving a company but it’s important to make sure you are leaving for the right reasons.
- Job isn’t challenging enough - If you feel like you have gotten everything out of your current position and there is no prospect of a promotion it may be time to look outside the organization
- Personal reasons/location - I encourage everyone to move away from home for a little bit in their life. Moving out of state was one of the best experiences of my life. It pushed me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to learn a lot about myself. There comes a time though that you may want to be back home. Leaving a job to move back toward family or friends is a totally justified reason for leaving. There is no job that is more important than the loved ones in your life.
- Difficult coworkers – there will always be someone or multiple people that are difficult to work with. It is critical to develop patience and learn how to work with them. One of the best skills to develop is people and change management. Developing these skills early on in your career will put you ahead of your peers, this is quality most employers look for in mangers.
- Avoiding a challenge - Is the job not exactly what you were expecting? When I started my 1st role out of college I was so scared I was going to mess up. While college provides you with fundamentals it doesn’t prepare you for your day to day tasks. You may get put on a project or task that seems overwhelming but these are the opportunities that will help you long term. Look at every challenge as an opportunity (aka resume builder). Ask for help when needed and utilize all of your resources. You are capable of more than you realize
Whatever the reason make sure you are leaving for a better opportunity, something that is going to help advance your career. It is also important to find a company culture that fits with your life and your personality. Believing in the company you work for makes going to work each day a little easier.
The process of finding a new job is a full time job itself (if only you could get paid to look for a job). The one thing I am certain of is if you love the company you work for, and are able to stay there, try to find another role within that company. Prior to my decision to leave, I made a point to talk with my manager about opportunities within the company. I had a very open line of communication with my manager about my goals at the company and what I ultimately wanted to end up doing.
If you aren’t open with your manager about what you want to learn, what projects you want to be involved in or what your goals are, you are wasting a valuable resource.
Your manager should be a mentor to you. That open communication with your mentor puts you in touch with a multitude of different people, resulting in an increase in your network. The best advice I received was just to get involved. This allows you to see what other roles and opportunities are available and allows you to get your work and name out there.
Unfortunately, sometimes you just need a complete change or you have to leave for personal reasons. This is where all those hours you’ve spent networking pay off. The people in your network are the references you will be putting down on job applications and even possible connections to help you find another job altogether. Your network will help you secure your next job.
2 Weeks Notice
It might be tempting to just say: “See ya suckers.” While easy, that isn’t the “professional” thing to do. I was lucky enough to love the last company and team I worked for, which made giving my resignation very difficult. Throughout my job search I was very open with my boss. While I didn’t tell him I was job searching back in Michigan, I did keep him in the loop on what was happening personally, as I didn’t want my resignation to come as a surprise. This open communication made everything so much easier and allowed me to leave on good terms.
Simple: open communication is the foundation to any successful relationship.
However, it does get a little tricky when it comes to your employer. How much should you share? How much is too much? This depends on company culture, management style, and your relationship with your manager. I shared the major developments with my boss and that helped him ultimately understand (and support) my reason in leaving.
Without a doubt, give as much notice as you can, though the standard time is two weeks. However, depending on the job, finding a replacement and training someone takes longer. Remember that feeling when there was only a few days left of school before summer break and you had to scramble to get everything done? That’s how work felt after giving my notice. Try not to completely check out though, since you still have your “brand” to maintain and want to leave on the best terms. Save any contacts to your personal phone/email and stay in contact with coworkers. You’ve already developed working relationships and these contacts will be beneficial in the future for references. I’ve recently reached out to former coworkers and my former manager for advice on a project I’m working on in my current role. Having those resources and knowing I could go back and work with them again is invaluable.