Two Week’s Notice: Making the Big Move
By Yessenia Anderson
“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.”
For those considering a big career move this message resonates. And while these are great words of wisdom there is a considerable amount of action that has to be taken after making this shift in mind set.
Since I entered the workforce at 18 years old I have been everything from the waitress in your local café to the reporter on the six o’clock news. Along the way I picked up a good amount of skills and an understanding of what it takes for me to be happy in the workplace. But this does not mean that making those moves has become any easier if anything – it gets harder.
The reason a lot of us stop at that initial step of knowing you don’t want to be where you are is because, let’s face it – job hunting sucks! But it’s a necessary evil to get to what should ultimately be the best place for you. I’ve landed every job I’ve interviewed for and I don’t say this in a braggy tone but to underscore that with the right skill set and a passion for what you want to do the right job is always within reach
Here are a few insights I picked up along the way:
It’s not you it’s me
Evaluate what is REALLY the driving force in why you’re eager to jet out the door at 5:00 p.m. every day or for some 11:00 p.m. (in which case – get the hell out). I kid. Sometimes it’s realizing that it’s not really the job you hate but possibly the role or project you’ve been assigned. Make sure that you are evaluating your reasons for leaving closely and don’t be scared to be honest with yourself. I was once a Sales Service Specialists (SSS) at Bank of America while in college. While I knew this wasn’t going to be my career making the transition from teller to SSS was the next logical step in the pay scale. But I had to take a hard look at why I hated the job and besides it not being my ultimate goal it was because I wasn’t very good at it. I am NOT a sales driven type of person. Realizing that was freeing and it pushed me to fight for the job I knew could highlight what I was good at.
Network before notice
People think that job hunting is application filing and resume building and while those are important components they are soon becoming almost irrelevant. Educating yourself on what is out there, what you are up against and who can be your cheerleaders along the way is crucial. Set up coffee meetings with successful people in the field you would like to be in, the company you would want to work for etc. The key is not to land a job from these but to get insight. My biggest career moves have been strongly motivated by former college professors. These are people who know the industry and have been able to advise me from right and wrong. Recommendations from highly respected individuals do make a difference as well.
Coming to terms with the ‘Break Up’
The best advice I’ve ever gotten when contemplating leaving a job I was actually not very happy at came from my husband (don’t tell him I said this). I kept making excuses on why I shouldn’t leave. He then compared my excuses to a romantic relationship he said “If your girlfriend came to you and said she wasn’t very happy with her boyfriend but didn’t know whether she should break up with him because…well he was kinda sweet. Oh and fun sometimes. And was scared that there isn’t someone better out there. What would you say?” You wouldn’t settle for OK in love so why settle for an OK career? Trust me – there are more fishes in the sea.
Two weeks and an eternity
Theoretically speaking there are typically two ways that you step away from a job. One, you quit on the spot and don’t ever look back, the second you give your employer two weeks’ notice and cut the ties then.
I have done a variation of the two:
- Waitress (two weeks/job waiting)
- SSS (two days/job waiting)
- Reporter (two weeks/job waiting)
- Media Relations Specialist (two weeks/no job)
Lesson here is, you want to leave always on a good note but how you do that is really dependent on your situation. Evaluate your finances, motives, working relationships, pending opportunities and decide what is best for you. Sure it was scary to say ‘I can only give you two days’ or I am leaving unemployed, but for me, at those points in time, it was the right move. I had the right safety nets in place.
Dream Job vs. Best Job. Know the difference.
By far the hardest move I’ve ever had to make was leaving the news industry. I have been writing all of my life. I was a Journalism major. I had landed a position at the ABC affiliate in Medford, Ore. and was on cloud nine. But reality hit and I soon realized my dream job came with a lot of sacrifices. I uprooted my fiancé (now husband) twice in less than a year. My personal time was at the mercy of breaking news. It was a thrilling and honorable job to be able to tell the stories that are making an impact in the lives of others – all the while my life was on hold.
I decided I loved the job – hated the lifestyle. There are few certainties in life but I knew I was certain I wanted to be a mom, be home for dinner every day and kiss my husband good night every night.
So FINALLY the job offer comes to you and its more money, great company etc. please also be sure you take into account not only the job but the impacts it will have on all aspects of your life.
So in summary, it’s hard, there are lots to consider and do. So get going, remember The first step towards getting somewhere is to… well you know the rest.