As an ambitious, career driven African woman, there comes a time when you want more from your career. I got to that season of my life and here’s my story:
I had worked in this international development project for about 3 years and after a while I started feeling unexcited to wake up in the morning and get off to work. I would lie in bed and complain about why I would rather stay home and do every other thing, but going to work. I didn’t hate my job, I loved my job but I no longer felt challenged by my job. After some soul searching and consulting my mentors, I realized I had gotten sick of that work environment and needed a better paycheck. At that moment, I knew that if I did not leave then I would become miserable. However, I didn’t just pack my bag and move on….I took steps and put things in motion before bidding farewell.
There are several other reasons people quit their present jobs for a dream job:
- They feel over-qualified or under utilized
- They no longer have interest for the job
- They got another job offer with a better deal
- They want more flexibility and work-life balance, etc.
Whatever the case, make sure you have a good reason before you quit your present job.
Here are some steps to take before quitting your present job for your dream job.
- Think about your next step
Yes, you want to quit your present job, but before you quit, you need to ask yourself some deep questions and give yourself honest answers. What is important to you? What are your values? What is your vision of your dream job? If after quitting this job, what kind of work environment do you envision for yourself? What type of job will make you happy? What will be your average take home salary? Where will you be working from? Asking these questions will help you to be self aware and to clearly articulate what you want from life as well as your career. Without asking and answering these questions, you will run the danger to getting a new job and getting stuck again.
- Review your employment letter
Remember that letter you received when you were offered your present job? Yes the one you probably signed and agreed to adhere to its terms and conditions? Yes, the same one that was given to you by HR. Yes! Before you quit your job, get that letter and review it for any clause that will stop you from quitting your present job. Look out for clauses such as contract term, termination of employment, non compete clause, etc. Ensure that none of such clauses will stop your shine. However, if you find any, consult your lawyer for advice.
- Set a timeline for leaving your present job
From the moment you started thinking about quitting your present job for your dream job, it became a goal; and a goal without a timeline is simply a wish. So take your pen and note pad, write it out as one of your goals and set a timeline to it. What day, month and year will be your last day of work? Also write out the resources you need to make this goal a reality. One of such resources is your resume and that brings us to point number 4.
- Update Your Resume
When you make up your mind to quit your present job for a dream job, go back to the file that contains your Resume and update it. Update your bio data section, educational qualifications if you have acquired any new degrees or certifications, work experience including your present job, update it on your resume. Also go to your LinkedIn account and all other relevant social media platforms and update your profiles.
- Apply for your dream job
Do your research of companies or organizations that are looking for your kind of skills, qualifications and experience and apply to them. Make sure you have a resume and your cover letter ready and designed for specific job applications. Pay attention to the skills requirements they have listed on their website or call for applications and make sure if you are qualified, it reflects in your resume and cover letter. Research has shown that if there are 10 requirements for a job, most women would only apply for jobs if they have all the requirements, but that is where men are different from us; if they meet only one or two of the requirements, they still go ahead and apply, and most times they get lucky. So this is my message to you dear African women, stop waiting for things to be perfect, go after your dream anyways. Stop being afraid. What is the worse that could happen? Go after your dream job. Prepare for your interview and crush it.
- Talk to your boss
Imagine if you were a manager and a member of your staff does not show up to work for 3 days only to catch them on whatsapp status celebrating their new job, imagine the feeling of betrayal and confusion. Yup, it is not a good feeling. The good book says:
“Do unto others as you want others to do unto you”.
After you gotten your dream job and you are getting ready to quit and resume at your new job, speak to your Boss or Manager or Supervisor first. Do not talk to others about it if you have not spoken to your Boss. Try your best to be as polite as possible, because some Bosses may not handle the fact that you are leaving them well, especially if the company or Boss you will be working with is a competition or rival. Whatever you do, try and ensure you maintain a good working relationship with your present employees even after you have left the job.
- Write your resignation letter
This is important for documentation purposes, especially as you are an ambitious African woman. Writing a resignation letter makes you appear formal and professional. Keep your letter simple, positive, brief and straight to the point. You don’t need to state the fact that you wanted a better paycheck or how you are leaving because of a particular colleague. That will be too dramatic. Be professional. Also ensure your handover notes are ready. Handover notes are a 1-2 page summary of your work assignments and status to help guide whoever will be taking your place. You can give them in person to your Boss or send them via email, either way, it is fine.
- Clear personal items from your work space
As you quit, ensure that you remove your personal items and documents. Make sure all official documents are properly filled so they don’t keep calling you for one thing or the other. If there is someone who will be taking your place, make sure you guide them on where to find specific documents.
- Shine, Shine, Shine.
The truth is when you quit your job, some people may not understand why you would quit a job some of them will not even dream of quitting from. Sometimes they will question your mental and emotional capacity.
The best revenge is to shine bright like the sun!!!
When the day you set as the deadline for quitting your job finally arrives, be confident and happy about your decision. Take every step out of that office with confidence. Be courteous to everyone and wish them all the best. Look good, smell good, feel good and be good.