If you’ve been reading Let’s Build for a while you know that changing jobs is as common as changing panties for me; but that doesn’t always mean it’s easy. Yet, having the right job for the reality of your life is an important tool for building a better life for yourself. In fact, I want to discuss how you can gracefully leave a job you LOVE to go to the job you NEED.
I know, I know for the millennial generation working a job you love is up there with our other major needs in the workplace like opportunities to lead, working with an impact/goal and paid time off. Goodness forbid we do what our parents did and work a job that sucks just for a steady paycheck and benefits. But let’s be honest, with more of us tackling student loan debt and coming into an age where taking care of baby boomer parents is common due to their lack of saving for retirement, you may find that the job you love is not meeting all of your needs. An article from Bustle explains this situation perfectly in Our Parents Are Broke & So Are We. Now What?.
Regardless of the reasons, our needs change. Something happens and a few extra hundred a month could be the difference between just making it and being able to set up for a better financial future or freeing extra time for family or a higher job title. With a generation so in tune with our wants we often place our immediate needs on the back burner until we start to smell smoke. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves that making the most of unexpected opportunities is one of those millennial
mistakes lessons that we learned a few years ago.
Blazers to Boots
Currently, I work in a slow pace environment with three other people who I’ve managed to form bonds with outside of the awkward workplace tango many of us do when in “work mode.” While working here I’ve managed to tap into my creative side and launch my blog as a result of having the time and resources to focus on the Let’s Build brand. I work with a purpose to uplift an entire community, with vacations, holidays, sick leave, health benefits, and decent pay. I truly love my job. This will all change in two weeks as I trade in my blazers and afro-centric work attire for a uniform and heavy boots. I will trade in quiet interactions for loud voices and a mentally stimulating environment for a physically demanding one.
I will also be trading in set salary pay for an income increase. I will be trading in a sometimes hectic work life for a more simplistic one because instead of juggling two jobs I’ll be down to one. When I run down the mental list of pros and cons of leaving to embark on a new chapter, the choice is really a no-brainer. My priorities have changed and I now need to adjust my reality to achieve the things that will place me where I want to be in life. So, even though I love my current job I have to take the job I need instead. But just how do you do that?
Telling your boss that you’re leaving because you need a job that aligns better with your financial/personal/professional reality can play out in many different ways. You should prepare yourself for the many possibilities.
A. They could offer to rise to the occasion to meet those needs to keep you as a part of the team. (This may not be an option within their power to do in many cases.)
B. They could be understanding and wish you the best in your pursuits because, ya know, it’s hard outchea and you have to get it how you live.
C. They could even be resentful regardless of ample notice and an exemplary track record while working there because they know that they are losing an asset and will have to go through the process of replacing you.
D. All of the Above
The best way to break the news is to share only what is necessary in an honest way. You don’t have to go on a rant of how the opportunity will be far better than the job you’re in now but don’t shy away from saying that it’s simply the best choice for your life at the moment.
As a society we have a tendency to over apologize whether we actually mean it or not, “oh, I’m sorry I got the last double chocolate muffin.” “Oh, I’m sorry I got the closer parking spot.” “Oh, I’m sorry I need to take advantage of a job opportunity that could get me out of debt sooner?…” STOP APOLOGIZING FOR DOING WHAT’S BEST IN YOUR LIFE!
(unless of course you’re truly harming someone, in that case just be a better person immediately.) But when leaving a good job for a great job or a job you love for the job you need; you should not feel compelled to excessively apologize. If it’s short notice, then yes apologize for that aspect but don’t over-explain why it’s the best choice, don’t inflate the issues it will correct in your life and for the love of all that is millennial DON’T APOLOGIZE for seizing your moment.
Ohana Means Family
Having bonds with co-workers can make it that much more difficult to lay on the news that you’re leaving but staying in a job for others is never the right choice. Just as you wouldn’t pass up a great opportunity when it comes to your blood family; you also shouldn’t do it for your work family.
When I first realized I was really leaving I focused heavily on how my boss and co-workers would be effected professionally and personally in their relation to my position and presence in the workplace. I’m not going to say that how they feel should be none of your concern but it shouldn’t be all of your concern either. If the bonds you built with your work family are strong then you will ensure that they will continue even after you’re gone if possible but if say, you’re moving across country, then you still shouldn’t feel that losing a work family diminishes what you built with them in the workplace. Appreciate what you had and hopefully they’ll do the same.
When Short Notice is Imminent
It is important to provide your workplace with enough time to adjust and take the needed measures in response to your exit. In some cases you may not exactly have control over getting little to no real notice of another job opportunity available to you. This makes exiting your beloved workplace stressful. When you keep your mind on the “why” behind your decision to leave it will help to alleviate much of the anxiety you feel over a hasty exit. The greater good may not be in the greatest good for your current workplace but doing your part to translate the why, when and how you’ve come to your decision to leave should allow your workplace to adjust from there. Do what you can with what you have and don’t try to control how others react to the news.
Builders, have you ever left something you wanted for something you needed (jobs, locations, relationships?) Comment below and Let’s Talk about it!