7 ways to prepare for a job exit or career change

I have coached nearly 300 individuals on their Career Development (a total combined from my private coaching practice and my previous role as a Director of Training & Development for a mid-sized company). When people come to me for coaching, they are typically seeking support in one of 3 areas:

  1. Making their next career move, but unsure where to start
  2. Leaving their current role for something more satisfying
  3. Finding more confidence and clarity in their current role

Having coached so many people through these three topics, I've started to recognize patterns and trends, especially when it comes to action planning and implementation. Since so many folks work with me to either leave a job or get a new one (whether that's a promotion or a career change), I've been able to identify key areas nearly everyone could benefit from applying to their career development goals.

Here are 7 important ways to prepare for a job exit or career change:

1️⃣ Work on growing your confidence and courage. Feeling unworthy never, ever serves you, and Imposter Syndrome is a BS story you’ve made up about yourself (ever noticed Imposter Syndrome is always self-diagnosed?).

2️⃣ Network! Meet people! Don’t be shy about sharing your interests and professional wins. Opportunities almost always come through other people (I was recruited by the last company I worked for when I wasn’t even looking to make a career change; I ended up working there for 7.5 years, was promoted 4 times, and 3x-ed my income).

3️⃣ Grow your skillset. Whether it’s something simple, like sharpening your Excel proficiency, or more complex, like deepening your workplace coaching skills, invest time in your professional development. Take a course, workshop, get a certification, etc.

4️⃣ Keep a record of all your personal workplace accomplishments, big and small. Even the tiniest accomplishments over time can reveal areas of high proficiency you might have overlooked otherwise.

5️⃣ Browse job postings before you’re ready. Do this for two reasons: 1) it will provide you with evidence there are other opportunities out there and 2) you’ll be able to take note of what opportunities light you up - this will give you a sense of direction.

6️⃣ Keep your resume updated and relevant. Straightforward and always sound advice, even if you're not actively looking to make a change.

7️⃣ Prepare yourself financially. Clean up your money mindset. This looks different for every individual, but the point is to keep yourself out of unnecessary stress mode (and money is one of the top stressors in life for most people). 


In summary, making a career change IS possible, even when it feels scary. Leaving a toxic job IS possible, even when it feels hard.

Despite how you may feel, you are NOT powerless.

P.S. I am actively taking on new clients in my 1:1 Career & Leadership coaching practice. If you’re interested in working with me, you can find more information here.

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