“Should I Stay, or Should I Go?” Exit Strategy Planning

Are conditions in your company or marketplace changing, such that your work has become more depleting than energizing? Shifts that happen in your environment often coincide with changes that take place within you, like your need and desire to grow, or to better balance your work and personal investments.

Having provided performance, leadership, and career mobility coaching for over 15 years, one of the most compelling success strategies I’ve learned is to stay on the pulse of your own need for change! 

A second strategy is to critically assess whether or not you are positioned to generate a worthwhile ROI in the current context of your work, or in a newly proposed opportunity.

In one of my personal experiences as an employee, tendering my resignation resulted in a favorable change in my role after my manager asked, “What can we do to keep you?” Both the candid nature of our conversation, and her responsiveness made that possible. Fortunately, we spoke in time to adjust our gears.

I’ve similarly partnered with clients to renegotiate the structure of their positions and other contextual factors such that their SWOT analyses became more advantageous. In other instances, the best recourse was to plan an exit strategy in collaboration with the appropriate organizational leaders.

I encourage senior leaders to facilitate a culture of transparency that provides a reliable structure for exit strategy planning. Within this structure, it’s critical to determine whether or not an employee can be positioned to contribute more productively, now and in the longer-term. Conversely, its important for employees to initiate dialogues to explore whether or not the ingredients exist for an avoidable, or at least more timely and thoughtful departure.

Break-ups don’t have to be painful and costly if they are prevented or managed with foresight, exploration of options, and honest communication. An effective exit strategy process generates a variety of bottom-line gains.

Executives reach out to me seeking transition management services, which in my view indicates they’d like to do the right thing. It also implies that the full life cycle of employment must facilitate a mutually beneficial parting of ways.