Businesses rarely enter deals without a plan for how each will end. As employees, we should take a page from their playbooks, says Diane Mulcahy, author of The Gig Economy and creator of the Forbes “Top 10” business school class on the topic.
She advises: “On the day you get hired at a new job, prepare an ‘exit strategy’ to quit.”
That’s because being prepared to hop from one job to the next can help you seize unexpected opportunities and stay fresh in the current job market.
This applies to everyone – full-timers included. And as Diane explains in her book, developing a hustling mindset this way is the absolute best way to gain work security.
Here’s how to do it:
Develop a vision for your next step.
On day one of a new job, ask yourself what you’d like to do next and how you can leverage this new job to acquire skills, expand your network and create future opportunities.
Recognize there is no job security.
Full-time work no longer guarantees financial security. Take steps now to save what you need to feel secure if your job were to disappear and to create your own short- or long-term safety net if needed.
Always have a side gig.
There’s no better way to create new opportunities than having a side gig or two where you can hone new skills and forge new connections. Bonus: side gigs help provide income security since you won’t have all your eggs in one basket.
Make a plan
Imagine knowing now that you’re leaving your job in six months. What would you do to prepare – professionally, financially, and personally? Make that list and start executing it.
Practice good quitting etiquette.
Treat your employer well by giving ample notice (as much as possible and more than the requisite amount) and leaving on good terms. Positive relationships are always worth preserving.
Diane Mulcahy is author of The Gig Economy: The Complete Guide to Getting Better Work, Taking More Time Off And Financing The Life You Want (Amacom, November 2016). Five years ago, long before the Gig Economy was part of the popular lexicon, Diane created and launched an MBA course on the Gig Economy at Babson College. That course gained immediate traction and was named one of the Top 10 Most Innovative Business School Classes in the country by Forbes. Diane’s Harvard Business Review article, “Why I Tell My MBA Students to Stop Looking for a Job and Join the Gig Economy ,” received thousands of retweets and shares.