It may seem counterintuitive to think about an exit strategy the day you start a new job, but Diane Mulcahy, former venture capitalist and author of The Gig Economy, said employees should always enter new positions the same way companies enter business deals: with an end plan.
“On the day you get hired at a new job, prepare an exit strategy to quit,” Mulcahy said, noting that being prepared to quit your job is the best way to ensure work security in a competitive job market.
She said when workers are ready to bounce from one job to the next, it allows them to seize unexpected opportunities. This kind of hustle, she said, should be practiced by everyone, full-timers included. Not sure how to plan an exit strategy? Here are some of Mulcahy’s tips:
Think long term: Mulcahy said on the first day of a new job, ask yourself where you’d like to go next and how you can use your current position to help you acquire the skills and experience necessary to get there.
There is no such thing as job security: Even if you have a full-time job, Mulcahy said, there’s no guarantee of financial security. Start saving now to ensure that you have a big-enough safety net to catch you in case your job suddenly disappears.
Have something on the side: The more opportunities you have, the more job security you have. Mulcahy recommends having one or two side gigs that allow you to harness new skills and make new connections. Additionally, you’ll also make a little extra dough while you’re at it.
Make a plan: If you knew your job were ending in six months, what would you do to prepare professionally, financially, and personally? Mulcahy advises to make a list and start executing it.
Quit politely: If you are going to quit your job, Mulcahy said, good quitting etiquette is key. Give your employer ample notice, and leave on positive terms.