Today I want to share with you a few tips about timing a career transition.

9 years ago, I walked into a radio station for an interview on a Friday morning and an hour later, shook hands with the owner and her parting words were, “We’ll see you Monday.”

This would have been excellent news if I wasn’t already employed.

It is custom to give your employer a 2 week notice if you decide to leave.

Of course, they usually don’t give you a 2 week notice if they are going to “unhire” you.

Last week it happened again.


Except I had a hunch for about 2 weeks that I was going to be taking a job back in the radio business.  All the discussions, details about compensation, expectations, various paperwork things were all being taken care of in my conversations with my new employer.  All that was missing was the offer in writing.

We set a date to meet but it got postponed.

The second meeting was also postponed, but the start date was still the same.

In reality, I knew that unless there was a last minute surprise, I would be starting my new position today.

Wednesday evening, last week, I accepted the offer. I called my boss 15 minutes later and he congratulated me on the new position.  The next day we sat down and reviewed the projects I was working on so there could be a seamless transition.

Here’s what I did to make it as seamless as possible:

Two weeks ago, I started preparing my files by organizing them, tossing out the junk that wasn’t needed and writing up a summary for each account.  I also wrote down action steps that needed to be done next.

I involved my boss in new projects that I was starting so that he would be fully informed and able to provide a smooth transition with as little negative effect on my clients as possible.

I did NOT tell anyone that I was working with about this possible change in my life, until it was certain.  This meant giving 2 days notice instead of 2 weeks, but I was prepared as I just mentioned.

Why wait?  What if this was a false alarm?  What if I didn’t leave and yet I had “broadcast” to clients, co-workers, and my boss that I was leaving?  That creates unnecessary stress and distrust.

The wisdom of “burn no bridges” is one that we really need to take to heart.  Go out on a positive note.  I thanked bosses and co-workers and will continue to be supportive of the work that they do.  And now it’s time to enter the next phase…..