Career Hack: Freedom through Resigning

Let’s just admit it, nothing makes us feel quite as free (or as good in some cases) as submitting a letter of resignation and leaving on your own terms. Notice I did not say quitting a job. There is a difference between resigning and quitting.

Here are a couple of quick tips for leaving the right way.

Know the difference between resigning and quitting
While it may be tempting to strike a match and toss it over your shoulder, don’t do it. Leaving a position or a company does not give you license to damage your reputation or jeopardize benefits that you may you be able to keep. Read your employee handbook (remember the one you shoved in a drawer on your first day) and understand your employer’s expectations BEFORE you submit that letter of resignation.

Have an executable exit strategy
Don’t make your manager beg you for an exit plan. Be proactive and put one together. What work is in progress and high priority and how do you plan to transition that work and those relationships to others? Your colleagues will thank you!

Don’t leave your network behind
Remember what I said about your reputation? When you a leave, your reputation goes with you. Leverage that reputation to maintain meaningful connections with colleagues that you worked with. Send out a farewell email and include your personal email address and LinkedIn URL.

Don’t forget your personal files
It is not shocking that we work on personal things during the course of our workday. Make sure you remove any personal correspondence or files that you have saved before your last day. More importantly, take the time to collect commendations and other items that should be a part of your professional portfolio and save those work samples to a personal drive.

Life Rule: Be Purposeful

Last week we celebrated the July 4th holiday which made me think about freedom, career freedom. What does it mean to have freedom in your career? How do you achieve it? Does it mean the same thing for everyone and once you achieve independence in your career, does it mean that you are happy?

I am going to follow the theme of Career Independence through this month and address some of the questions posed above.

#MondayMotivation, #PurposeistheNewPassion


Life Hack: 3 Great Ways to Use a Planner

I decided to go into 2018 with an actual planner. Yes, an old-school, physical planner. I have to say, my planner is very cute and stylish. Her power pink says “this lady has it together!”.

Did you pick up on the fact that my planner is a “she”?

2018 begins and I have a snazzy planner that makes me feel sophisticated but I struggle to make her useful. I am reliant on my virtual calendar for almost activity that I am committed to so how do I use this planner?

After several planning sessions focused on ways to use my planner, I have three great implementation ideas to make a planner relevant in day to day life.

1. Turning “To Dos” into Scheduled Activities
I have an ever-expanding list of things that I have to do, should do, and would like to do. I use my planner to turn these into action items. Now my to-dos are scheduled and become “to-did”.

The key to scheduling, however, is making sure you don’t try to accomplish everything on your list in one day or even on the same day. Prioritize in order to avoid setting yourself up for failure.

2. Offering small High 5’s
The best thing about having a to-do list is being able to check items off. You feel accomplished. Using my planner to document large and small achievements is motivating.

3. Chunking
We all know that goals are only dreams unless we make them actionable. Even short-term goals need to be chunked out and approached in intervals. I use my planner to establish my goals for the month and schedule activity that contributes to the goal throughout the month.

The most important thing about my planner is that she needs attention. I have to spend time with her. At least once a week, I check in with her to monitor my progress toward what I said I was going to do for the week and what is coming up during the next week.

Whether it is a physical planner or some other method, you have to have a method of logging your goals and holding yourself accountable.

Flash Friday: Describing how you handle feedback

You can run interview questions all day long with experienced professionals but understanding what interviewers are actually trying to gauge with their questions is truly preparing yourself.

How do you prepare to respond to this question: How do you handle critique?

This question is designed for you to respond with a story. Don’t just tell them but demonstrate that you understand:

  1. How to receive feedback from supervisors and peers
  2. How to use feedback as a means to grow professionally

The best way to prepare for this question is to have several narratives in your head. You do not want to sound rehearsed but this is a fairly common question and should not catch you off guard.