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Article Title:
Making a Professional Career Change? 10 Career-Killers to Avoid When You Resign 
Your Job

Article Description:
Congratulations! You just got an offer for a wonderful new job. 
There's just one catch. You have to say good-by to your current 
employer. Clients often admit they're nervous about making the 
departure announcement.

Additional Article Information:
766 Words; formatted to 65 Characters per Line
Distribution Date and Time: Fri Apr 14 00:22:44 EDT 2006

Written By:     Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D.
Copyright:      2006
Contact Email:  mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]

Article URL: 

For more free-reprint articles by this Author, please visit:,_Ph.D.


Making a Professional Career Change? 10 Career-Killers to Avoid When You Resign 
Your Job
Copyright © 2006 Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D.
21-Day Extreme Career Makeover Guide

Congratulations! You just got an offer for a wonderful new job. 
There's just one catch. You have to say good-by to your current 

Maybe you loved your job and you face an emotional farewell. Or 
you maybe you detested every minute and you've been counting the 
days till you could walk out the door one last time.

Clients often admit they're nervous about making the departure 
announcement. They're afraid the boss will be angry. They feel 
guilty about the work they're leaving behind. Maybe someone else 
has to take up the slack for awhile.

But clients also wonder how to resign gracefully yet still 
protect their own longer-term career interests. They suspect 
their departure style will influence their careers for a long 

They're right. Resigning the wrong way can create a career 
breakdown and derail your journey to success.

Career Killer #1: Giving too much notice.

Every so often my clients feel sorry for their former colleagues. 
So they stick around an extra week (or even an extra month). 
Inevitably, they begin to feel like a fifth wheel. Nearly 
everyone says, "Next time I'm leaving right away!"

Career Killer #2: Saying "yes" to requests from the company you 
just left.

Your boss required two weeks notice - but belatedly realized she 
needs four weeks for a smooth transition to your successor.

Your boss made a business decision to require two weeks notice. 
When she miscalculates, she needs to accept the cost, just as 
she'd accept the cost of late payments to a supplier.

If your company needs additional help, offer to work as a paid 
consultant with a contract. But get everything in writing and 
make sure your new job becomes your Number One priority.

Career Killer #3:  Ignoring past and present company policies 
regarding disclosures and no-compete agreements.

Some companies are extremely proprietary about their process 
and their people. Once you resign, you may have to leave the 
workplace immediately. Or your new company may ask you not to 
work for your former employer, even on a part-time basis.

Career Killer #4: Telling colleagues you're leaving - before you 
tell the boss.

A tempting move but a deadly mistake! Your boss deserves to be 
the first person to know.

Phone is second best. And tell the boss before you tell anyone 
else - even your best friend or golfing buddy.

Career Killer #5: Expecting the boss to be upset.

Clients often tiptoe around, fearing a boss's anger or 
disappointment. But bosses typically behave professionally 
and expect you to do the same.

Good bosses are happy to see their employees move ahead. Thank 
her for the opportunity to learn. Emphasize how her help 
contributed to your ability to make this wonderful career move.

Career Killer #6: Allowing deep-rooted anger to get in the way 
of professionalism.

Thank your boss and your coworkers, even if you hate them all 
and can't wait to leave.

You may regard them more fondly through a haze of memories than a 
glare of office lighting. You may encounter them at conventions 
and networking groups. And most likely you will benefit from 
strong references and goodwill.

Career Killer #7:  Accepting a counter-offer.

Recruiters consistently tell me, "Sixty percent of those who 
accept a counter-offer are gone in six months." If you decide 
to stay, get a written job contract.

Exception: A few companies and industries actually demand proof 
of an outside offer before offering you any kind of internal 
raise or reward. College professors often work in this 

Career Killer #8: Treating the exit interview as a therapy 

When a Human Resource professional asks why you are leaving, be 
upbeat and positive: "for a better opportunity." Talk about how 
much you loved the company and your job. You never know where 
your comments will turn up, mangled and misinterpreted.

Career Killer #9:  Sharing details of your new position with your 
"old" colleagues and coworkers.

Occasionally a colleague will try to assess your salary or other 
information "so we can stay competitive in recruiting." Helping 
your company recruit is not part of your job and anyway, do you 
really believe this?

Details of your future employment should remain confidential, 
even from your close friends in the company.

Career Killer #10: Focusing on the company (and career) you just 

Once you're gone, you're history. The very same folks who loved 
meeting you for lunch will barely remember your name a week 

And, if you haven't changed jobs for awhile you may be in for a 
shock. Your first day in a new position can be a real eye-opener!

Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D., helps corporate executives, 
business-owners and professionals transform career 
breakdowns to career breakthroughs.
Cathy has created the 21-Day Extreme Career Makeover Guide:
Fr*e Download:  Why most career change fails 
(and how you can write your own success story).
mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] or (206) 819-0989



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