5 Key Exit Strategy Tips To Quit Your Job Gracefully

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Guest blogger Diane Mulcahy is author of The Gig Economy: The Complete Guide to Getting Better Work, Taking More Time Off And Financing The Life You Want (Amacom, November 2016). Five years ago, long before the Gig Economy was part of the popular lexicon, Diane created and launched an MBA course on the Gig Economy at Babson College. That course gained immediate traction and was named one of the Top 10 Most Innovative Business School Classes in the country by Forbes.

A former venture capitalist, Diane is a Senior Fellow at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, where she manages the private equity and venture capital investment portfolio. She writes and speaks frequently about the VC and PE industries and entrepreneurship. With two earlier books to her name — Venturing Forward and Angels and IPOs — Diane has had her articles and work featured in The Harvard Business Review, The Huffington Post, The Economist, the New Yorker, Forbes, Fortune, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Institutional Investor, and on NPR and Reuters TV. Diane holds an A.B. and Master of Public Policy degrees from Harvard University.​ She’s here to deliver tips on how to quit your job without burning bridges or stressing your boss—or yourself—out.

Develop a vision for your next step. On day one of a new job, ask yourself what you’d like to do next and how you can leverage this new job to acquire skills, expand your network and create future opportunities.

Recognize there is no job security. Full-time work no longer guarantees financial security. Take steps now to save what you need to feel secure if your job were to disappear and to create your own short- or long-term safety net if needed.

Always have a side gig. There’s no better way to create new opportunities than having a side gig or two where you can hone new skills and forge new connections. Bonus: side gigs help provide income security since you won’t have all your eggs in one basket.

Make a plan. Imagine knowing now that you’re leaving your job in six months. What would you do to prepare – professionally, financially, and personally? Make that list and start executing it.

Practice good quitting etiquette. Treat your employer well by giving ample notice (as much as possible and more than the requisite amount) and leaving on good terms. Positive relationships are always worth preserving.

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