While most people focus on where they are heading, it is always a good idea to have a plan for leaving. It does not matter where you are coming from either. The way in which you leave any given situation speaks volumes about you as a person.

Having an exit plan in place will assist you in avoiding the behavioral pitfalls so many people make. There is a total behavioral change that takes place when people are ready for their next move. Sometimes they begin to slack off at work. They figure it really does not matter what they are doing since they will be leaving anyway. People also may feel as though this is a great time to let everyone know exactly how they feel about things. This is probably the worst idea I have ever seen in action. It is as I like to refer to it ” career suicide”. You might be asking yourself why I would call it that. If the person is leaving what is the difference? Right?

This is incorrect! The person who opens up to everyone at the end of their employment,creates an atmosphere of discontent. Even when they are gone they will hardly be forgotten.Those who are left in the wake of this atmospheric sabotage will be talking about that person for quite a long time. The long term implications of this behavior will come as the person changes more than once from any place of employment. As time evolves people will come to know them from what they have heard. At this point they will be left with fewer employment options and will be scratching their head trying to figure out why.

A much better exit plan is one I have witnessed first hand. I was in college working at a fast food restaurant. I was a sandwich maker in the back, and one of the girls whose job it was to maintain cleanliness in the dining area was leaving to have a baby. She not only wrote the manager a letter giving two weeks notice, she also gave each one of us a heartfelt handshake when it was our last shift together. Now this might not sound like a big deal. But here is the chaser. After she had her baby ,her husband got laid off. He actually ended up on permanent disability. She was once again looking for a job.

When she came by the restaurant to fill out an application, she was hired on the spot. In fact the manager processed her paperwork completely backwards. She had her on the clock with a paycheck before she had finished filling out the application! All of this because she had a great EXIT plan!!

Small things can make huge differences in our lives, especially when things happen that we could not have predicted! What is your EXIT plan?