Go Out on the Top of Your Game

Nothing lasts forever, and at some point, you may be looking for a new job. The circumstances of the change may vary—maybe it’s your idea, or maybe you’ve been forced out—but your approach to the change should not vary.

Not everyone knows this. I had an old friend who was a software programmer in San Jose. At the time I knew him, he’d held several jobs in a few years. He told me he wasn’t happy in his newest job and wanted to find a new one. Again.

“Are you moving toward a new job,” I asked, “or running away from your current mess?”

“Well,” he said, “if I’m honest with myself…I suppose I’m running away.” And in the process, I learned he had done some bridge-burning, left some projects unfinished, and said some things he couldn’t take back.

“That’s too bad,” I said, “because there was obviously some lesson you missed while there, some mistakes you’ll probably repeat. I suggest you stay and learn the lesson so you can move toward something—otherwise, we’ll be having this exact same conversation in another year when you’re looking for your next job.”

Despite my sage advice, he left anyway, and started a new job…which he recently lost. Same story, different day.

The trick here is to be honest with yourself. If you’re getting married, it’s easy to say you’re moving toward a relationship—but you might be moving away from being alone. That’s a very different reason to get married, and not a very good one. How many divorced and/or miserable people are out there raising their hands on this one?

You will find that almost EVERY bad decision follows from a violation of a value—a moving away from a fear instead of moving toward something you love.

Making a career change is an important decision—not one to be taken lightly. If you’re going to leave your job, make sure you’re leaving to move toward something…not running away from a boss, coworker or lack of performance.

If you’re not hitting it out of the park at this job, I hate to say it, but you probably won’t be rockin’ it at your next one either. Remember— what you resist persists. Fix any problems where you are before moving on to something else.

You should ALWAYS go out at the top of your game. Only switch jobs when you are truly passionate about a new opportunity, then let your boss know months in advance what your plans are and tie up every loose end. Be the ultimate professional.

One Response to “Go Out on the Top of Your Game”

  1. Brent says:

    Good post and I agree that a move should be made for the right reasons and not to escape problems. The question I have is on the notice. Giving a couple of months of notice sounds great but what if your boss responds by giving you two weeks? That could really mess up a person financially and hamper the change plans. Especially since it’s hard to transition with that much notice between jobs/opportunities. Your thoughts?

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