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Building a Career Exit Strategy

Jun 29, 2022 03:54 PM
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You've likely heard of the concept of an 'exit strategy' as it pertains to business but have you considered the application of this concept when it comes to leaving the company you work to pursue something else?

For those unfamiliar, an exit strategy is essentially your business plan in reverse. Just like you planned for how to build up your business, now you have to plan to transition what's been built without losing value, ideally, for all.

When leaving your role, remember that although your time at the company you work for may feel over, at one point, the person you will be handing your resignation letter to was the person you eagerly gave your cover letter and resume. 

Leaving a job is a delicate dance, one where you must consider the optics, feelings, and legacy of your impression on your peers and employer.


Here are some playful ways to apply the concept of a business exit strategy to leave your current role:



What assets have you helped to build in your role, within your teams, or your company's culture that you will no longer handle?

If you can identify what you have built up and achieved while working within your role, you can provide your employer with a reflection on what you've learned during your time with them while reinforcing what you have contributed. 

You are not selling off the value of a business but re-selling your employer on the value you brought, which can help them appreciate what you've provided and more easily see the areas they will need to find a candidate to fulfill.


Selling to Someone You Know (Keeping it in the Family)

Although it's important to know that leaving a company and recommending a candidate to fill your role won't always be welcomed, employers are much more open to and appreciative of new talent recommendations in this employment marketplace.

If you know someone who is job-seeking and has the right personality and skillset fit for the role you're leaving, someone you trust and can vouch for, recommend them to your employer. Helping the company you work for find the right person to take over your responsibilities, and help to continue growing their business in your absence, is strategic and thoughtful.

Heck, they may even bring you in on the hiring and onboarding of the candidates or new's that for a seamless transition? No doubt, everyone will be happy this way.


AN IPO (Public Offering)

Okay, okay, this one is a bit of a stretch. Still, the idea reigns true enough: If you are considering leaving your role for salary or job growth reasons that have been non-negotiable to date, having an alternative (competitive) job offer can help you to bring strong negotiations to the table with your employer so that you can work out ways for the role to be more conducive to what you need to stay.

We advise you to tread lightly here.

Offering your skillset to the 'public,' i.e., another prospective employer should only be done if you are genuinely interested in leaving due to your unhappiness or discontent with your current offerings. Although it can raise your 'capital' it can also plummet it - loyalty, to this day, is invaluable for anyone.