There are many reasons why you might want to develop a job exit plan. Maybe you're unhappy with your current job, or maybe you're looking for a new challenge. Whatever your reason, having a plan in place can make the transition to a new job much smoother, and help you avoid making rash decisions that you might regret later.
Developing a job exit plan is not as difficult as it may seem. Here are a few quick and simple suggestions to get your exit plan started:
Identify Your Reasons for Leaving: Why are you unhappy with your current job? Is there anything that can change within your current job that would motivate you to stay? What lead you to take your current job in the first place? Essentially, take a full personal inventory to understand where you are at the moment.
Set Your Goals. What do you hope to achieve with your new job? Is leaving your current job your only option? If not your only option, is it your best option? Does your next job have to pay you more? Or, are you looking for a different company culture and/or work environment? Do you prefer working remotely? Or, do you thrive more in person and onsite? What locations are you willing to relocate to for the right opportunity? Be as specific as possible here.
Reach Out, Network and Engage: Start making new friends in new places. Go find some old friends that are also in new places. Social activity will have a great impact on where you end up next. And don't just ask and take - seek ways that you can answer and give to others as you engage and grow your network (e.g. introductions you could broker, projects you could lend your expertise to in the interim, boards you could join, etc.)
Update Your Resume, Cover Letter, and LinkedIn Profile: Be strategic with your LinkedIn and other social media profiles, so as not to show your hand or set off any red flags that you're looking to make an exit. However, make sure you polish up your About/Executive Summary, Headline, Headshot, Skills list, etc.