Do you feel like you’ve accomplished all that you can in your current position and the prospect of moving up or even over is low or non-existent? Do you find yourself in the hands of a tyrant boss that, no matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to find common ground with him? Or are you experiencing a case of job burnout? If so, you may be on a sinking career ship.
Whatever the situation is, take heart and know that many have stood in your shoes and have experienced the same exasperation you are feeling. While it is tough feeling like you are on a sinking ship, remember, you aren’t the first and you won’t be the last person to face this angst. There have been others who have gone through what you are currently going through and they have survived the wreck.
Not only have I been on a few sinking ships, I’ve had the distinct pleasure of working with others who have survived as well.
One of the first things you need to determine is whether or not your ship is truly sinking, or if you have simply run into a squall that will soon pass. Many of the storms can be severe enough to shake you to the very core; however, there very well could be a break in the clouds just over the horizon.
If you’ve ascertained that it is indeed time to don your survival gear, consider this list of exit strategies to help make abandoning ship as smooth as possible.
1) If your desire is to simply make your position more bearable, speak to your immediate supervisor about your concerns. Many times, management may not be aware of a problem and will be quite willing to work with a valuable employee once the issue has been brought to their attention. Don’t let fear stand in the way of speaking up. If you’ve made the decision to move on, you really have nothing to lose by stating your case.
2) If number one isn’t an option for whatever reason, give your current employer at least a two-week notice of your intention to vacate your post. Keep in mind that no matter how much you may detest your current situation, these people will be getting a phone call concerning your employment history with them, so some of that conversation will focus on the terms of how you left your position.
3) When abandoning ship, even with the aid of a lifeboat, it is still wise to wear a life vest. Of course, the point of this is to have a back-up plan for survival, should something happen to the launch you are depending upon. Leaving a job with no concern for your soon-to-be ex-employers’ needs because you have what you think is a secure position somewhere else only to have this guarantee fall through or not live up to expectations is dangerous.
4) As hard as it may be, try to maintain a professional attitude and be certain to maintain the quality of your work up to the same standards you would normally. Again, you don’t want to give your current employer any ammunition to use against you when they are called as a reference.
5) Research your next move in order to plot the best course. If you are considering a career shift into a new role that requires additional training, education or a cut in salary, then conduct your research! To begin, take a look at U.S. News’ list of Best Jobs of 2012; these hottest jobs include those poised to ‘hire abundantly’ as well as roles that Glassdoor’s company reviews determined predict a high level of job satisfaction.
6) Research the size of company. For example, if you currently work at a large company and are tired of the corporate silos and the slow-moving turns that large business ships must make to execute on change, then do your research, and this time, select a smaller, more nimble organization that fits your needs. Think culture, and invest in the time and effort to locate a more-fitting location.
7) Now, settled into the new destination, offer up enthusiasm, energy and even a bit of humility to intuitively knit your career brand into the new community. Radiate your genuine desire to contribute value to your colleagues, managers and company with whom you collaborate. Your likelihood for career success, satisfaction and propulsion will soar!