What to do before you quit

Should you quit your job to look for a new job?

NO!

Hiring someone who has a job is always easier for managers than hiring someone who is unemployed.  The reason is that they figure 90% of the people who are unemployed have one of 3 problems: they are incompetent, they are troublemakers or they are never satisfied.  I talked to a manager about a very competent programmer.  She asked, “If he is so good, why is he unemployed?”  Because she feels uncomfortable with that question, it looks like she won’t hire him.

Since you shouldn’t quit your current job, what should you do?  Become a model employee.  Treat your current job like you expect a big raise in a couple of weeks.  Document how well you are doing and let the people you interview with know how well you are doing.

Here are 8 things you should do at your current job:

  1. Arrive a little early and stay a little late.  Just a few minutes makes a big difference.  It is job insurance.  Track it.
  2. Do your job interviews before work, at lunch or after work.  Future employers like to hire people who are still looking out for their current boss.
  3. Use a personal email account for job hunting.  Go to Yahoo or gmail for a free account if you have to.  Your next boss may be turned off if you are using company assets (email) in your job search.
  4. Figure out ways you can make more money or save more money for your current employer.  Document it.  Then use it in job interviews.  How will an interviewer react if you say, “In the last 2 months I’ve saved my company $3452.”
  5. Track how fast you do everything, and do it faster.  Compare yourself to others.  Use your improvements in interviews.
  6. Go out of your way to help people beyond your job description.  Write down what you do and who you help.
  7. Absolutely stop bad mouthing your current employer. Stay away from people who gossip.  Get out of the beef and whine lunch group.  Why?  You will do better in interviews.  Your attitude towards work will be better.  A person with a good attitude always gets the job over someone who hates their job.
  8. Look for ways to get training on the job or in classes.  Prepare yourself for the next job you want.  Volunteer for assignments that will make you stretch.

WARNING:  If you do all of the above, you will probably be offered a raise or a promotion to stay when you quit.  Turn it down and go to the new job.  Trust me, it never works out unless they offer you the raise and promotion BEFORE you quit.  Much better to come back in a year or two than expect your boss to forgive your accepting another job offer.

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Something To Do Today

Improve your performance at your current job.  Track the improvements and use them in your interviews and on your resume.

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