Tag Archives: quit your job

Give up and go elsewhere when things are good

(Before you lynch me, read tomorrow’s column about giving up when times are bad.)

Most revolutions happen as things are getting better.  That happened in the Marxist revolutions and the revolts against the Communists.  It happened in the American revolution.  Things were getting better and people rebelled.

People seriously think of quitting their jobs as things get better.  As life gets worse they are afraid to change.  They want more stability, not more change. When life is bad, they tend to stay where they are. It’s easier. When life is getting better is when they think of change.

In reality, it really is time to change when life is easy and the economy or your company is soaring.  That is when people start slacking.  You are most likely to get noticed when you are the new guy on the block with something to prove.

In your current job push hard. If you aren’t getting raises and promotions, ask for them.  If not now, when? But start looking.  If you are pulling ahead as a superstar, others outside your company may be even more interested than those who know you well.

It is probably time to get a new job even if you are getting raises and promotions.  Career advancement, pay raises and opportunities usually come more quickly to those willing to change jobs in good times.  There is an immediate raise upon taking the new job.  There are also faster raises for the first 3 years.

Yes, it is a fact.  People who change jobs get raises and promotions faster for a few years.  It may be that there is no history to judge against, only current need and performance. It is likely that you are “irreplaceable” at the position you have had for 5 years so they don’t want to promote you or give you a new opportunity.  Whatever the reason, raises and promotions come faster for the first 3 years with a company.  Someone already there and doing the same job will NOT get the same pay raises, promotions and opportunities you get by coming in fresh.

Another reason to leave when life is good is that when life is good, people are hiring.  It is much easier to get into that company or job you always wanted. There is money to pay for your eager attitude.  It is easier to find a job when you are employed than when you are laid off.

Life is good now for 90% of Americans.  Think about changing.  Position yourself for change even if you don’t make a jump to another company.  When the economy eventually turns ugly for your company, those who have been making minimal progress will be laid off

Something to do today

Really assess where you are.  Are you coasting?  Have you relaxed?

Then start pushing hard in your current job.  Set a personal goal and meet it. Get ahead now while others coast.


Coming up

Give up and go elsewhere when things are bad

How fledging falcons can help you get a great job

Each summer we watch a falcon’s nest a dozen floors above the train station in Harrisburg. See it here.  Five falcons fledged our first year.  That means they finally got the maturity and confidence to jump off the ledge and fly. Fledging is learning to fly.

When falcons fledge, they are prepared. They spend time exercising their wings. You see them watching the open sky for days.  When they finally jump off the ledge it is still scarey.  Sometimes they spend the night on a building they didn’t plan to be at.  But, by the next day they have built up enough strength to return to their previous heights.  In a few days they are soaring.


Some people decided to fledge the same week as the falcons.  They gave me a call.

One was working at a company that was morally bankrupt.  He put off fledging for a year and built up his financial reserves.  As he felt more secure, he objected more to the blatant discrimination, mean spiritedness, and rough nature of his office. He stopped being a “team player” because he knew the team was being awful. He was fired for being true to himself.  He is finally flying again.

A fledgling job holder came out of the military two years ago.  His specialty didn’t translate into the civilian world.  He has been building up his non-military credibility.  He is ready to move into a second career.  It is something he has been willing to prepare for.

A salesman moved to a new company two months before.  During that two months the company changed direction three times. She knows she cannot sell in that environment.  She has no faith in the leadership.  She will fledged a month after the falcons.  Her skills have been honed for five years.  It’s just a matter of finding the right place to settle.

Prepare to leave your job.  You may stay at your company or leave your company.  You need to prepare to leave your job anyway.  You may even keep the same title you had in the same company, but make your job change.  There is new software to learn, tricks to improve your productivity, and better ways to help your team. Learn them. You may also need to spend time watching the open sky, observing business and your industry.  You need to see where companies and careers are going so you can fly in the changing world we are in.

Fledge. Prepare, then jump off a ledge and fly.

Something to do today

Spend some time staring off into space.  How will your company, your job and industry change in the next five years.  What can you do to be ahead of the change curve?


Later:             Start a salary bidding war

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7 steps to quit your job – be paranoid

There are straightforward steps you should take before you quit. And some things you should never do. Paranoia is healthy when you are quitting. Here is a true story.

Frank bragged to his coworkers and his boss as he quit. He told them about his new job as branch manager, of his future earnings, and how he would be happy to take some of his old coworkers with him. Two days later the company lawyer called. He told Frank that if he insisted on going to the new company he would be sued. The lawyer also notified the new company. Frank’s offer was withdrawn. Frank stayed at his old company against his will. And he brought it all on himself.

I learned long ago never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it. (Cyrus Ching)

It is hard to believe all these stories I tell are true. They are. I tried to recruit Frank for another job. He still couldn’t go. I also talked to the company that tried to hire him. Of course the names and identifying facts are changed.

Frank brought it on himself. He had to brag. The safest thing to do is to quietly disappear into the sunset. Give absolutely no information about where you are going. Don’t tell them if you have a job yet. Don’t tell them whether you are even staying in town. You don’t have to fill out any “quitting applications” either. They use those to get you to give evidence against yourself in case you are going to a competitor.

Here are the steps to quit:

1. Check your old contract for a non-compete clause

2. Google “how to break my non-compete”

3. Check with your lawyer if you have any doubts

4. Get the new job offer in writing

5. Accept the offer

6. Put a letter on your boss’s desk that says “I am grateful for being able to work for XYZ company. This letter is my resignation with my last day of work of 12 June 2014.” Don’t add anything more. Make sure and sign it. Email it if you have to.

7. Keep your mouth shut

Paranoia can be healthy. Hide any information you can. If your old boss has to hire a private investigator to find out where you went, he won’t. He’ll only be interested if you start stealing clients from him. Even then he may not figure out it was you who stole them., or care enough to chase you down. You see, your boss may be thinking of quitting too. If he quits, and he has let a few employees go to a competitor without stopping them, he sets a potential legal precedent for himself to do the same. As long as you don’t get in his face and force his hand, he is likely to just let you go.

Slip quietly into the sunset when you quit.

Something to do today

Before you go to a new company and before you quit your old one, find out if either has gone to court to enforce a non-compete clause or to protect trade secrets.In every town and industry there are people who will try to keep you from earning a living. They don’t just want to protect themselves, they want to punish you. Stay away from them. If you work for one, find a new job and quit. Better now than later.


Later: The old boy network

Exploit the old boys

The money question

3 kinds of death