Employment Exit Strategy

Leaving your job for whatever reasons is not a spur-of-the-moment decision. It is a huge decision that must have been thought through with proper plan in place about what one will do after resignation, retrenchment or even retirement.
An exit strategy is necessary when one’s employment relationship ends to avoid situations of being desperate for another job, frustration due to lack of income or not knowing what to do with your life.
Exit strategies are different based on the reasons for leaving your job. Someone who is resigning or being retrenched will plan differently from someone who is retiring. Here are the things to think about when considering ending your relationship with the current employer.

Exit strategy when one resigns

  • Find out and understand the reasons why you want to leave:
    • Do you hate your current work environment, culture or the organization?
    • Do you have a terrible boss?
    • Do you hate your job?
    • Would you prefer different roles and responsibilities?

If you answered yes to these questions then prepare yourself by:

  • Writing down a plan. The plan should include information about how much time do you give yourself before getting your next job (sometimes you do not have control on this one), how much salary are you looking at or how long will it take before you start earning if you are venturing into business?
  • Writing down a list of your monthly expenses. Establish which ones are more important and which ones are just luxuries, cut out the luxuries.
  • Then establish how long you can afford to sustain yourself without a job. This with enlighten you in terms of whether you are ready to quit your job right away or you still need to safe a bit.
  • Updating you CV. We have heard that CV is one of the powerful tools trusted by jobseekers. Your CV is a marketing tool when you are looking for a job, make sure you include your latest experience and skills that you have acquired.
  • Look for a job while you still have one. Do not wait until you resign and then start looking for job afterwards.
  • When being offered a new job, give your current employer a reasonable notice. Normally a one month notice is acceptable unless special arrangements are made with the employer. Do proper handover of your tasks and even train your colleagues on how to perform your tasks.
  • Copy all the important information that you may need to your personal email or flash disc. Take into consideration the company policy regarding the information that belongs to the company and what you are allowed to copy for your personal use.
  • Familiarize yourself with the benefits due to you, e.g pension fund, due leave days payout, UIF etc.
  • Safe as much as you can and cut out all unnecessary spending. The fact that there will be no income coming in can put a strain on your lifestyle if you will be out of job.
  • Do not burn the bridges. Some people have a tendency of saying bad things about their current employers when they leave the organization but that is not a good practice.

Exit strategy when one is being retrenched

  • The first thing to do in preparation for retrenchment is to speak to your creditors including the bank where you have your home loan.
  • Negotiate the more relaxed terms of paying for your bond and other bills.
  • After receiving the retrenchment package, payout the lump sum towards your bond for instance.
  • Also investigate how many of your credit agreements have built-in insurance policies against retrenchment and update such creditors about your retrenchment.
  • While more people will think of looking for another job, others will consider starting their own business which is not a bad idea provided you have done a thorough research on what type of business, where will it be, how much will you need to establish one? etc. For more information about starting a business visit the Entrepreneurship page.
  • Use your money sparingly. Do not buy things you do not need.

Exit strategy when one retires

  • Everyone who is working knows that one day they will retire therefore they prepare for it.
  • Have a plan in place about what will you be doing after you retire.
  • Look for a professional financial advisor who will give you proper guidance on your retirement fund issues.