Ultimately, your career belongs to you, Michael Matrone writes for Inside Higher Ed, but it's in your best interest to maintain your professionalism while transitioning between roles.
Matrone recommends how to prepare for an impending exit gracefully, based on his experience as postdoctoral affairs officer at Oregon Health & Science University and treasurer as well as incoming president-elect of the Graduate Career Consortium.
According to Matrone, there are three dates that matter most when transitioning to a new job: the day you tell your manager, your last day at the old job, and your first day at the new job.
The first step is to decide when to tell your boss. For most positions, Matrone recommends waiting until you have accepted an offer from a new employer. If you were to tell your employer you're seeking a new job, all kinds of awkward complications might follow, such as an unexpectedly long job search, rescinded offers, or even retaliation from your current employer.
The only exception, he writes, is temporary or training positions where it's expected that you'll be looking for a new role.
3 ways to start strong at your new job
Matrone recommends giving at least four weeks' notice if possible, rather than the conventional two weeks. He points out that your start date at the new job is generally negotiable.
Matrone also warns job transitioners to be mindful of the technical aspects of the transition. For example, when will your health insurance start and end? What about housing and other accommodations? And of course, make sure the gap in your pay dates fit your budget to avoid a slump, writes Matrone.
Last, he recommends making sure you leave with a good gesture. For example, he writes, you could provide your personal contact information to keep in touch with mentors and friends. This can also help coworkers at your former job if any loose ends or questions come up after you've left (Matrone, Inside Higher Ed, 6/12).
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