Create an Exit Strategy

29 Dec

An exit strategy is a plan to gracefully and professionally leave your job. It is a multi-step process. Mine will take six months to complete. It shows respect to your boss, coworkers, and affiliates. Nobody expects you to work at a job until the day you die. They do, however, expect you will leave in a professional manner if and when you make that decision.

You need to remain on good terms. This is a very small world, and a former boss may end up self-employed (or worse, unemployed) and become a very valuable customer, partner, or resource. I am consistently amazed how people change when they leave unsatisfying jobs.

When you formally notify your employer that you’re leaving, you will be an instant celebrity. Coworkers will ask where you are going, why you chose to make the change, and who will take your place. Coworkers will also watch you closely. They will make sure you show up on time and work a full eight hours. They will make sure you really are working. They will observe when you leave. Coworkers will look at you differently, giving glances ranging from “The slob is finally leaving” to “I wish I had the courage to do that.”

You also need a written resignation letter. This should be professional, as you do not know who else besides your boss will read this. After telling your boss, you can write something vague and appreciative, like, “As we discussed, I will be concluding my employment here on June 30. I want to thank you for bringing me onboard, teaching me valuable skills, and providing a friendly atmosphere. Thank you.”

This resignation letter may be the most significant document you create at work. It is also a golden opportunity to thank your employer for giving you a wonderful job, even if the opposite may be true. Regardless, the resignation letter is not the vehicle for showing your dissatisfaction. If you have issues with any coworkers or anything at your job, write your issues on a notepad and then burn it.


Mark Anthony Germanos is the author of two books, Escape the Cubicle: How to leave your corporate or government job for something better and How to Make Computer Systems Work for You. He has faith in a slow but sure Sacramento business revival. Sacramento small business owners are leading the way. His second book, Escape the Cubicle, is for those who want to escape cubicle jobs and become successfully self-employed. Escape the Cubicle answers the questions: "How can I grow my business" and "How do I become my own boss."

Mark is the President of Cameron Park Computer Services. As a business owner and computer networking consultant, he has seen habits that successful Sacramento small business owners embrace. He helps Sacramento small business owners embrace those habits to increase their profits, efficiency and happiness. An advocate of Sacramento business revival, Mark believes everybody should run their lives like a small business, perform SWOT Analyses and use social media campaigns to improve business. He used to say “social media is stupid.” That was until he attended a conference and saw how Sacramento small business owners can use social media campaigns as a valuable tool. Since then, he has earned more than $40,000 in business via social media. His Sacramento small business clients also have five-figure returns. Sacramento small business owners that launch social media campaigns give themselves a comparative advantage over those who lag behind. Mark does not do everything, but his clients do receive great results and participate in the Sacramento business revival when they follow his advice.

Mark moved from Chicago and restarted his business in California with a cell phone and a Honda Civic. An active triathlete, he has a life, a dream wife and a dog. For additional details, visit Twitter: Facebook: LinkedIn:


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