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Stressed mixed race businesswoman rubbing her forehead

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You’ve reached your breaking point.

All you can think about is chucking the deuces and saying to hell with your dead end job. But you can’t.

While you know you can’t burn bridges, you can certainly make your exit just as jazzy as your entrance. Here’s how:

Update your resume

Keep a running list of your brag-worthy accomplishments. Nothing formal is required. You just can’t afford to omit any information from your resume that will help catapult you to a potential employer’s A-list. You’ll need to keep your resume up-to-date at all times, in case you’re asked for it on the fly. Be sure to have resumes on hand and also add a version to your smart phone or tablet. Creating professional business cards with a QR code linking to your resume or LinkedIn profile will “wow” your business contacts. Never get caught slipping.

Know the policy

Some companies have strict resignation policies. Failing to give proper notice could eliminate your eligibility to receive bonus payouts, pay for unused paid time off and could even affect your rehire status. Although there may also be an employment verification policy only to release dates of employment and position, there will always be that one employer eager to sing like a bird and give your potential new employer an earful about how horrible you are for leaving them hanging.

Rekindle old relationships

If you know you’re planning to re-enter the job market, go ahead and reconnect with old colleagues you’ve lost touch with after leaving your last job. Remind them of the great work you did in hopes they’ll serve as great resources and professional references during your job search. Get the scoop on who’s been promoted or what new positions may be available. Don’t get wrapped up in a gossip fest on this walk down memory lane – be strategic! Let your network know you’re looking for a new job and ask them to be on the lookout. Volunteering to help a previous colleague with a project or initiative could be the foot in the door you need for a new opportunity.

Stay focused

When you’ve sealed the deal on leaving your job, it’s easy to get complacent. Why continue working hard when your heart is no longer in it? Well, it’s simple – again, you don’t want to burn bridges. You’re poised and professional and need to be remembered as such. Never get so checked out that you forget how connected people are in your industry. Once word gets out that you’re a slacker, there’s no turning back. Take this time to complete your projects, finalize those contracts and purge any personal files you have at the office. Don’t let the negativity of your current job situation become your mindset.

Whatever your reason for wanting out of your current job, preparation is key. It’s a luxury to leave a job on your own terms, so why not make your exit with grace and dignity.

Ashley Watkins, of Write Step Resumes, LLC, helps job seekers and career changers find the career of their dreams by creating the perfect resume, providing interview preparation and career coaching. She can be found on FacebookTwitterInstagram, Pinterest, or via www.WriteStepResumes.com.

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