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Do you need a Career Exit Strategy?

During my parents’ generation, people often stayed at the same company or organization for decades until they were ready to retire. Fast forward to the year 2014, and people are staying on average 4.4 years according to a recent article in Forbes magazine.

The transition in staff as well as the loss of an organization’s knowledge base may lead to some to consider when is the right time to really move on from their current job. This is a tough question that has plagued employees for longer that one will ever know. The usual reasons for staying at a job for a multiple years may include good benefits, great schedule, little to no politics and a solid team of coworkers.

Yet, we are often compelled to look beyond the comforts of our work space to seek out more challenging opportunities. It is human nature to finds ways to ensure we progress in our professional endeavors. How does one achieve the goal of avoiding work complacency while maintaining your relevance at the office with new assignments or training?

It helps to map out your career exit strategy in advance. Your career path and goals may be outlined in a 2-year or 5-year professional development plan or it may simply be a career wish list in a notebook. Either way, knowing when to move forward and out of an organization is critical to your professional staying power. It helps to be comfortable with your supervisor enough to have candid conversations about where you are going in the organization.

However, when you receive feedback similar to the ones listed below, it is time to implement your career exit strategy. Top 7 signs that is it time to reconsider your career options:

  1. We do not have any promotion slots available
  2. The organization is going through a down turn
  3. The reorganization process has begun and we are not sure where you will be placed
  4. Reduction in force notices are sent to the entire organization
  5. Limited or zero opportunities for professional development
  6. Closed communications between leadership and staff regarding the organization’s future
  7. Being overlooked for a promotion in your home office on a continual basis

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