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Quitting Without Retiring: Keep Your Name Prominent

by Steve on November 12, 2012 · 7 comments

in What's next?

Keep your name prominentYou’ve run the numbers and then you’ve run them again.  You are sure that if you quit your job you’ll be fine.  Your savings and income seem to be plenty to cover your monthly nut.  Well, you’re pretty sure you will be fine.  At least for the first few years.  The thing is, you hate your job and have been thinking of leaving for several years.  You don’t think there’s any way you can stick it out even 1 month longer.  Should you simply hand in your resignation and hope for the best?

Depending on your profession you may have options.  You can quit, but be sure to keep your name in the forefront of people’s minds.  And never burn your bridges when you leave.  This way if things turn out for the worst you will have the option of coming back gracefully.

There are many professions where your years of experience and knowledge make you a valuable commodity.  Perhaps you could leverage that to your advantage.  If you make it known that you are available on a freelance basis for select projects it is possible that you can make some extra money on the side.  This is providing that you keep your name out there.

If you disappear and then pop up some 12-18 months later employers will have questions about your reliability.  They will wonder if you still have what it takes to those get the job done effectively.  On the other hand, if you maintain contact with who are responsible for getting projects staffed and completed on time you have a good chance of picking up some side gigs pretty easily.  You are also much more likely to be seen favorably if you decide that retirement isn’t really the right thing for you and are trying to get back into the corporate world.

So, how exactly do you keep your name out there?

One way is to simply maintain the friendships you’ve cultivated over the years with your work mates, supervisors and clients.  A quick lunch once a month can do wonders at keeping your name in someone’s mind.  Email correspondence is another method for keeping in contact.  It might seem impersonal and is not as good as face to face meetings, but it will serve to let others know that you are still around and that you are maintaining an interest in your former career and company.

The internet and social networks have made it easier than ever to keep in contact, even with those who live on the other side of the country…or even the world.  Use the sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and even Twitter to maintain contact with those who could benefit you in the future if you reverse your retirement decision.  It takes mere minutes and could pay huge dividends in the future if you need a referral or a job.

So, go ahead and quit your job if you’ve run the numbers and it seems to make sense.  Just don’t quit your profession.  Keep your name out there in the minds of those who can make a difference if you eventually change your mind.  It might seem unnecessary now, but in 3-5 years you might end up believing it was the wisest thing you’ve ever done.

Photo credit: flickr buddawiggi

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