Quitting your job might be one of the trickiest situations you can encounter. However, something even trickier than quitting your job occurs right before you quit your job: Looking for a new job. When it comes down to it, you could quit your job before getting a new one if you have to. In my experience, it's much more preferable to have something lined up before you quit your job. The question then becomes, how do you go about doing this?
Here are three things you should do in order to look for a new job while still being employed and not burning any bridges along the way:
- Tell your boss — Does this sound crazy? Actually, it's exactly the opposite. This is probably the best thing that you can do before you start looking for a new job. More than likely, if a new employer is interested in you, they are going to call your references. If you are on decent terms with your current job, you have someone there as a reference on your resume. Even if it's not your boss who answers, if the new employer calls, your boss is going to find out about it. This is not the way you want to keep on good terms with your current job. Schedule a meeting and tell your boss that you are planning on looking for a new job. Make sure you have the reasons for leaving ready beforehand to discuss with them. They will appreciate your giving them a heads-up. The news coming from you is the best way they can hear about it.
- Don't look at work — This is another biggie. You should avoid looking for a new job while at work at all costs. Looking for a new job at work (basically not doing any work for your current job) will certainly rub people the wrong way. This is a surefire method for getting a bad reference from your current employer. If you absolutely have to, such as needing to call someone from a possible new employer, do it on your lunch break and/or in private. Also, you should minimize the time at work that you are using to do this (taking two hours out of your work day is not suggested).
- Keep working hard — I've seen this happen a lot. Once someone starts looking for a new job, they quickly lose all interest in working hard in their current position. Again, this can mean nothing but bad things for you. You need to keep working hard regardless of your plans to leave. Not only will your boss appreciate this, but your co-workers as well. You never know who you will work with or for in the future, so it's best to not anger anybody by slacking off at the last moment.
One of the most important rules of business is this: Don't burn any bridges on your way out. This may not always be possible, but you should do your best to make it happen. As I stated above, you never know whom you will be working with or for five years from now. One of the people you work with now could be the person who decides whether or not you get hired in the future.