In the past, many people tended to hold jobs for life. Once a person got employed, they kept loyal to one employer for life unless something big or special necessitated change.
The Japanese are still known to keep jobs for life. In Malawi, today, many people change jobs quite often. The younger employers change even more frequently.
Some three years ago, I was involved in recruiting a manager for one of the charities that I support and one candidate had changed five jobs in three years!
Of course, it does not reflect well when you change jobs that frequently like the example here.
When you are considering changing jobs, there are few things that you need to do right so that you manage your change and transition effectively. First, you need to take your final decision on whether to move jobs or not. The fact that you have a new job offer from a new employer is not enough basis for you to decide to switch jobs.
Even simply being offered a higher basic salary is not an adequate reason to switch jobs. Even when you complete your table of comparisons that combines the cash equivalents of the benefits.
The first basis for switching jobs should be whether the new job will give you a much better mix and package of happiness, job satisfaction, career growth, networking opportunities, personal development and work-life balance. Money should be the last element, not the first consideration.
Last week, I met a friend of mine with whom I had worked with when I was a student intern at one of the companies in Blantyre in the late 1990s. This friend told me how he left the job in the company where I had met, three years later, taking a 30 percent pay cut for a job where he saw great opportunity for furthering his education, training, certification and professional development.
Ten years on, today he is a great and highly rewarding job—only because for three years, he worked on a lower paying job that accelerated his professional development and skills deepening. He had long-term career insight.
Once you have consulted your trusted friends and perhaps your mentors or coaches and you have come to a personal conviction that you need to switch to the new employer that offers you a new job, you now need to think of how you can best manage the exit and how you can prepare for your entry into the new job.
You need to seriously think about the exit from the current job as much as you think about the entry into the new job.
First, even before you can draft your resignation letter, you need to meticulously check what obligations you have with your current employer and also check the exit clauses. Many people do not even read exit clauses of their employment contract when signing job offers.
Some even forget to read this important clause even before they resign from their job. This can turn out to be costly to you. You may have to talk to your new employer to check if they may help you shoulder the burden of the exit implications as part of your negotiations, well before you close the deal.
Clearly, you need to be aware of your exit obligations even as you expect the new job offer to reach you. Ask how much you owe the company.
The second important matter about preparing for your exit is that you need to inform all the key people about your intended resignation before you serve them with the letter. You need to arrange a meeting with your immediate boss, and in some cases, including his or her boss.
Also have a good meeting with your main contact in human resources (HR) team. I remember that a few years ago when I was switching jobs in a distant place, the HR contact was so kind that she advised me to hold my resignation for just one more week to still be eligible for my bonus!
The key here is the need to be extremely nice to all people that matter as you are resigning.