Are you thinking that it might be time to quit your job and move on to a new opportunity? At first, quitting may seem like the easiest thing in the world. You hand in your two weeks notice, and that’s that. Right?

Well, not quite. If you want to set yourself up to smoothly transition into an awesome new job, there are key things you must do before you quit.

Here are my top three tips and a checklist to help you get your life in order and set yourself up for success:

1. Test the job market waters.

First things first, it’s important to be realistic. When you quit your job without a plan in place, you risk not finding an opportunity right off the bat. In fact, the average job search takes about 3-6 months to complete. This could mean months without a stable source of income.

What does this mean for you? Before quitting, take the time to do your research on roles that you would be interested. Try to get a feel for whether they’re in demand right now based on economic and market trends.

2. Determine what needs to be in place before you quit your job.

Before you quit, think ahead about projects and milestones that you’re coming up to. If you’re about to dive into a project that will help you hone a unique skill set that will make you more marketable in your job search, it may be worth sticking around and seeing it through.

Next up, think about your personal situation. Do you have a family to support? Will you need to have more in your savings to sustain yourself through your job search? The more strategic you are about when you leave, the better off you’ll be in the long run.

3. Establish timelines & pick the ideal date to leave.

A problem I see many of my clients face is how difficult it is to actually leave their jobs. It’s one thing to think about it, but it’s a whole other ballgame step out of an opportunity that’s within your comfort zone and providing you with a stable income. When you put in the effort to pick an ideal time period to hand in your notice, you’ll be able to hold yourself accountable when the time comes.

Your Personal Checklist – What You Must Accomplish Before You Quit:

  1. Do your due diligence by determining your external market need
  2. Do some soul searching – do you really feel fulfilled by the career path you’re currently on, or is a career transition in your cards?
  3. Talk to people you trust and get their feedback and advice on your decision
  4. Talk to your financial advisor if necessary, especially if you’re starting a business. Your income may be unstable for the next few months to one year, so it’s important that your life is in order.
  5. Update your marketing messages, including your résumé, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, and outreach messages.

Do you have any questions about quitting your job? Let me know in the comments section!