Make the Move Checklist
So now we’re all set to make the move. We’ve decided that our time at the current job is over. We’ve learned all we can learn, we’ve grown there as much as we’re going to and we’ve tolerated as much as we’re going to take. So, let’s go! But we’re not done yet, if we’re going to make the move, we need to make the move successfully. Here’s a checklist of ideas to cover off as we do make the move.
- Moving for money? The job we’ve secured is offering us a 10% hike in pay. But could we have negotiated that increase where we were? I know that not every move is all about money, but it does help. So as we make the move, we may want to consider what that 10% really means. Are we losing out on vacation or seniority levels? Does our retirement fund start again from scratch? Will be expected to work longer hours? Consider that if we lose out on time-based payments for uncapped hours, 15% extra hours for 10% salary increase is actually going backwards. So what’s the full benefit or cost when we make the move?
- Sweet talk or Commitments? In a buoyant market, prospective employers will make all sorts of promises to land the right candidate. When we make the move, it’s in our best interests to make sure that those promises are written down. So check to contract, terms & conditions and job description to make sure all those promises are included and that the new employer can be held accountable.
- Read the signs: Not everything can be written into a contract but the news is out there. LinkedIn, Google and the blogs are a good source of advance caution when we make the move. What’s the word on the streets about the new company, the job and even your new bosses? As we make the move, forewarned is forearmed. It’s always wise to move forward with our eyes wide open.
Leave well: We may have been unhappy where we were and we may make the move away from where we were as well as towards where we’re going. But it never serves us well to burn bridges behind us. Here’s three good reasons to leave a smooth path behind ourselves
- Our reputation: is our strongest asset. We shouldn’t be leaving any reasons for bad mouthing when we make the move. It will follow us into the future and can come back to bite us later.
- Easy transition: Why make life tough? As soon as we say we’re going to make the move, ‘best’ friends can quickly turn to enemies. Jealousy, resentment or a sense of rejection can quickly surface as soon as we make our intentions clear. Why give them the reason to sabotage us as we make the move?
- Self-respect: After the dust settles, we’ll still be us. We’ve played the game with professional integrity and honour up until now. So why tarnish our own sense of self-respect with some ill-judged remarks to those we are leaving behind? Make the move with dignity and professionalism throughout.
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- Going the extra mile: The only extra mile we should be going is the one out and away. Yes, we should be assuring a smooth hand over to whomever is taking on our case load. That’s an honourable and professional practice. But now is not the time to reclassify the company filing system or to rewrite the procedures manual, or starting up new long-term projects or sales campaigns. We should be doing what we need to do so that our departure creates no extra collateral damage but, after all, we’re about to make the move away from this chaos and onward to a new set of challenges.
- Take your stuff: How many times have we seen people do the ‘walk of shame’ with their sad little box of ‘personal possessions”? Frankly, our time at the old job was more than a pot plant, a stapler and a photo of the kids. Our worth is measured in the things we did, the things we created and the value we generated. Now I’m not advocating that we steal company secrets or intellectual property; far from it… don’t do that! But it is perfectly acceptable to harvest our experience and learning from the job when we make the move. There’s no law against capturing the memories of what we’ve done and what we learned. Our experience is what we’re being hired for now, and in the future, and it forms part of our personal heritage.
- Clear the decks: Now is a good time to go through our systems and remove all of our personal stuff. Delete personal emails, calendar appointments, notes, documents, files and folders. Chances are, our current employer may simply wipe our systems behind us but they may not? Do we really want diary entries, secret assignations, love notes, draft resumes and all the other paraphernalia of living at work for others to find, copy or even share around? No, probably not. So when it’s time to make the move, it’s wise to clean up behind ourselves.
- Have a script: Lots of people around us; in our old firm, social friends, family and even new co-workers will want to know the ‘juice’. The world has become accustomed to soap operas, but our own lives don’t need to be one for them. It’s a good idea to have the script ready for all those occasions. The old faithfuls are really handy here. We can build a script around ‘who, what, where, why and when’ that will make an interesting and compelling story about why we decided to make the move. Staying positive will enhance our own sense of wellbeing and leave a better reputation with others. In short, keep it clear, positive and compelling as we make the move.
- Exit politely: Employers often expect an exit interview and that can be full of bear traps. It’s reasonable for them to want to know why we’re leaving and that we’ve left everything in good order. But that’s it! This is not the time to vent your pent up emotions, nor to leak competitive information about our new employers. We should make the move for good reasons but the break should be clean and with minimal explanation, justification or acrimony.
- “Thank-you” doesn’t jingle: There are always financial implications when we make the move. Is there a redundancy programme that we can hook into? Are we entitled to severance pay? Do we have unclaimed vacation/long-service pay? Are we expecting a bonus in the next pay cycle? What happens to pension/superannuation/401(k) entitlements? It can be well worth our effort to dig out our existing contract and terms before we make the move to make sure we’re claiming everything we are entitled to claim. It might even be worth our while to time our exit to make sure that bonus actually lands. If it’s complicated, we can always speak to a lawyer or financial adviser before we start the process of leaving.
- Counter Offensive: It’s odd that, when we announce our intention to leave, we suddenly become much more ‘valuable’ to those around us. That’s when the counter-offers get wheeled out. It may be from our employers with offers of promotions, pay rises, a bigger office, or a smarter car. Or maybe our co-workers suddenly turn on the ‘charm offensive’. It’s all very interesting but we have already decided to make the move for good reasons. If these people really did value us, the pay, the promotions, the benefits and the charm would already be there. Band-Aid offers are usually only skin deep. They may last for a short while but they’re rarely a cure for what ails us. We can review the offers by all means, but they no longer deserve the ‘inside track’ in the two-horse race between current and future opportunities.
- Land gently: So let’s make the move and come to rest in our new place, but let’s land with care. Be honest, our new employers have hired us because they think we’re a good deal; the best of the bunch. So there’s no immediate need to over perform at the outset. There are new procedures, people and politics to learn and navigate. It’s good to get a few early wins chalked up and build confidence but, as much as possible, these should be relatively short-term and straight forward. We’ll have a honeymoon period as the ‘new kid’ is settling in to ‘how things are done around here’. So let’s use it! Take the time to observe, process and conclude how the new place works and how we want to engage with it. Our arrival should always be purposeful and we should be making sure that all the promises really are commitments. Getting to know the people and learn what makes them tick will pay dividends in the long-term. It’s ok for the newbie to ask questions… even ‘dumb’ ones. Arrival is a great time to look and learn and often when expectations of immediate performance are at the lowest they’ll ever be.
In this “Career Resilience” series we’ve explored what it means to have a career that encompasses more that the success of jobs we may have had. We’ve looked at what it means to give and get value in our career. We’ve seen the power of our networks and the people around us. Then we’ve uncovered the tactics of how to deal with a bad day at work and even turning around abad environment. Finally, if it’s time to go, we’ve considered the key factors in making the decision to go and how to make the move.
Career resilience isn’t about the good and bad things that happen to us. It’s about how we behave in these situations. It’s about what we do next that really bring us resilience.
Epiphanies is here to help, if you’re not sure if, or how, you want to make big changes. Our Career Straegy programme is designed specifically to help you clarify, paln and action big career changes.
Or maybe you ou simply need a slight shift in you direction or path? That’s where our Jump Start service can help. A service, with low entry threshold , that’s easy to enter, easy to keep going and easy step out whenever you’re ready. Book a free consultation today.