Recent stats for the Baby Boomer generation suggest that the average person will change careers 11 times. Regardless of how many times we do it, for most mid-lifers, the idea of quitting a job involves a range of emotions. On one hand, you might be thrilled by the idea of moving on or you might be in a circumstance where quitting your job is the only option in a dysfunctional workplace.  Whether you're excited about the future or shudder at the idea of the unknown, there are three important things you can do today that will not only help ease the transition, but will help land you in a good position to tackle whatever you encounter once you leave the office. 

1. Clean up your act now

 It doesn't matter if you intend to quit in six months time or are on the verge of handing your walking papers, it's important to start cleaning up your desk. And by desk, I'm talking not only your physical workspace, but your computer, your phone, anything that you use that will be confiscated when you depart. Get rid of personal communications. Delete text messages and emails that have no relevance to the workplace. Prepare handover materials if you're feeling courteous. Imagine that you could be escorted out of the building anytime (and this can happen if you resign because some companies will not accept the traditional gesture of giving notice). Or consider that once you do give your notice and walk out the door, you don't want to worry about anything personal that could be retrieved by others. Clean up your mess on your own time and with as little stress as possible. An interesting thing about cleaning up your desk also is the act of decluttering. Getting rid of old energy can make even an unpleasant work situation a little more tolerable because you're not faced with a mess. You might even find you actually are liking - or at least tolerating - the job that you're preparing to ditch. For more info on this, read Talane Medianer's, "Coach Yourself To A New Career. "


2. Leave your lasting impression

In a dysfunctional work situation, it's understandable and easy to let it get the best of you. You might be a person you never imagined. A grump. A tyrant. A gossip. Such is the damaging impact of a toxic work environment - it rubs off. But a key part of your exit strategy should be doing damage control on yourself. Regardless of how lousy your boss is or if you have no intention of including the job as a reference or on your resume, leaving cleanly and demonstrating the real you as you walk out the door goes a long way in the work place. At the very least, the saying "the road is long" is especially true in careers and chances are you will run into the people you work with now - whether in real time or online - down the track. At the most, you will know that you left a job with your dignity and the "true you" in tact. Excellent ways to ensure you preserve your integrity in a bad work situation is to check in with family and friends and get their opinion on if your true personality is being affected by the job. 

3.  Document your end of job struggle (your future career might depend on it).

When we're in the thick of a bad situation, it's often impossible to imagine that we might be living some very valuable information for someone else. For example, how you manage being overworked and underpaid, while at the same time maintaining a good family life could provide a secret formula that can, not only help others, but could make you money. You can turn your experience into a website, a blog, some self help articles, a book, a coaching practice, the list goes on. So while the whole career transition is fresh in your mind - document it, learn from it and share what you know. Often one of the most challenging parts of a job is that it doesn't activate our purpose. True purpose is when we help others and sometimes, purpose shows up in tough circumstances. By helping others with your challenge, you might find that purpose that you've been missing. 

Are you about to leave a job? What is something you can do today to ease your way out?

Coach Yourself to a New Career: 7 Steps to Reinventing Your Professional Life
Amazon Price: $20.00 $2.04 Buy Now
(price as of Jul 29, 2014)
Fantastic book that not only helps prime you for a future career, but offers advice on what you should be doing in the job you're about to leave.