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Leaving the Barn: Quit Like a Professional

Leaving the Barn: Quit Like a Professional

 Even the best jobs in the most wonderful companies might not be the right fit forever. Interests and goals change over your career.  If it's time for you to find greener pastures, do it the right way. Think through your decision, take reasonable risks, and remember to leave your barn neat and clean when you go. How you leave a job in animal health affects your reputation too.

Ssh...till you're sure

When you first consider moving on, it's tempting to tell your work friends about it. Who wouldn't want to share something so exciting? Control yourself. You may be excited, but other people might not be. Your boss might expect to hear it from you first, not through the grapevine. 

Keep quiet until you are sure that you want to go; if possible, wait until you know where you are going next. As Human Resources Director  Linda Michaels says, be purposeful in your career planning. Avoid quitting with a plan for the future.

Before you talk with your manager, know what it would take to make you change your mind. Do you want to explore other parts of the animal health industry? Do you need to move to a new location for personal reasons? Is there anything that would keep you in your current role? Have clear, succinct answers to these questions.

Take the high road

Be consistent with your boss, your colleagues and your friends about the reasons for your departure. Is it because your family is moving to another city and it's too far to commute? You don't feel challenged? A competitor has offered you a significant raise and promotion? Or is it just time to explore another aspect of the animal health and animal nutrition industry? Be able to speak calmly and without sounding defensive before you share your news.

This can entail having some tough conversations. Your manager might resent hearing that you no longer feel challenged; your company might not want to hear that you don't see opportunities for advancement. Be tactful - try to leave your colleagues with a good impression of your honesty and forthrightness. Tell simple truths, rather than an elaborate story.

Animal health is a closely networked industry. Industry-leading firms are consolidating, and buying up smaller companies like cows nibbling clover. Chances are good that you will once again work with some of your current colleagues.  Telling the truth from the beginning is far easier than remembering a convenient lie years later.

Clean up your messes

Everything you do related to your departure, from announcing it to handing over projects, contributes to how people remember you after you leave. Safeguard your reputation. Don't leave a pile of manure behind; give colleagues every reason to wish you would come back.

Finish any open projects you can. Organize comprehensive handovers to whoever will take over the work. Your successor will take over the care and nurturing of your work babies; give them the tools they will need.

Lead the pack in any role

Changing jobs is part of advancing along your animal health career path. Doing it like a professional demonstrates leadership, respect for your colleagues and commitment to high work standards in support of the animals we all love.

If it's time for you to make a move, let us help. Post your resume on Animal Health Jobs Register for job alerts so the right job can find you.

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Leaving the Barn: Quit Like a Professional
Amanda McDavid