Feeling “done” at your current job and thinking it’s time to move on? Before you do anything permanent (like hand in your resignation letter), take a minute to pause and make sure it’s the right move.
Sometimes, you let your emotions and frustrations take over, and when that happens, it’s easy to think that the only option is to quit. Reassessing things with logic and a clear head may convince you to stay.
Or maybe not. Sometimes moving on is the right call. But before you quit, make sure you’ve made the most of your current situation. Doing so can help you feel confident in your decision to leave, and it can ensure that you’re ready to have the best possible experience in your next job.
#1: Before you quit, ask yourself why
When you start thinking it’s time to move on from your current job, ask yourself why. What’s the main reason you want to leave? Be honest, but also try to think beyond surface reasons.
For example, maybe you don’t get along with your boss. That’s a legitimate reason, but the next-level answer might be that you want more mentorship opportunities. Both answers might be accurate, but the mentorship angle is going to be a better approach when you’re interviewing.
Or let’s say that you don’t enjoy working with your current clients or you feel unmotivated to go the extra mile for them. Take the next step in your mind — maybe what you really want is to serve a different demographic or have the chance to interact with a wider variety of clients. Knowing that underlying reason makes it easier to tell a prospective employer what you’re really looking for. You don’t just want “better clients,” you want the chance to serve a wider client base.
There are countless different reasons to want to quit your job. And it’s not about finding “better” reasons but looking past the surface and understanding what’s at the heart of your decision. Taking the time to do so helps you know yourself better and gives you the chance to re-evaluate your current situation.
Plus, most potential employers are looking for deep, thoughtful answers to interview questions. It’s far easier to have those meaningful conversations with an interviewer when you’ve taken the time to identify your true motivations and goals.
#2: Look into potential opportunities at your current job
Once you’ve identified the real reasons you’re unhappy with your current job, see if there are any ways to make changes without leaving. For example, if you want to serve a wider client demographic, ask your manager if that would be possible.
Or if you’d like more chances to learn from other financial planners, see if there are ways to make that happen at your current job. Maybe you could ask for a mentorship opportunity, or start something less formal like a monthly “open house” event for junior and senior financial planners to interact.
If it’s an income issue, consider trying to negotiate your salary with your current employer, or see if there are internal hiring opportunities that might pay more. If you decide to negotiate your pay for your current position, make sure to do your research and present a compelling (but not aggressive) argument. Even if it doesn’t work, you’ll have more data when it’s time to negotiate an offer from a new employer.
#3: Always consider the impression you’re making
Finally, no matter where you are in your career, always be professional. You never know where a new opportunity might come from, so conduct yourself professionally and avoid burning bridges.
Most financial planning professionals can tell a story that goes something like this. They met a junior planner at some event that wasn’t related to job hunting. That person was a little too negative, unprofessional, or self-absorbed during the conversion. And later on, that person ended up applying for an open position at the planner’s firm.
You know how this story ends. That junior planner was never really considered for the role because of the poor first impression they’d made outside the hiring process. It’s a frustrating situation, but it happens a lot. So take care to maintain your professional image all the time. You never know when you’re interacting with someone who might be relevant to your career later on.
Don’t rush into quitting too soon
It can be tempting to jump right to “I’ll just quit” mode when things are tough at work. Your boss isn’t great, you don’t feel like you’re making progress with your clients, or maybe the grass simply looks greener elsewhere. But before you make a serious decision, take some time to sit with it and ask yourself if you’re really made the most of your current circumstances.
Maybe you’ve given your all and tried everything and it’s just not the right place for you. In that case, leaving is the right decision. But if you haven’t really tried to find new opportunities or take risks in your current job, you might find the same level of dissatisfaction at a new job. So make sure you’re truly ready to quit before you hand in that resignation letter.
You can also grow your network online or attend a meeting at your local FPA chapter. Short, informal interactions count too, so don’t be afraid to start a conversation with a coworker or someone in your CFP® course.
Navigating your career is tough, especially when you’re trying to figure out whether it’s time to move on from your current job. One thing that can help is talking to other financial planners at various stages of their careers. You’ll get many opportunities to do that when you join the Amplified Planning community. Our forums and resources give you the chance to learn more, build your professional network, and get the support you need to grow your career. Join Amplified Planning today!