Breaking Up With Your First Adult Job

I left my first adult job nearly two months ago. I worked for a cool brand, my parents were proud of me for getting a job there, I was proud of me for getting a job there. Some of my friends were confused why I would ever consider leaving. But a new opportunity came my way, one that excited me, one that gave me lots of new challenges and it was time to say goodbye to my first adult job and say hello to a new beginning. My job had set me up for success - how could I tell them I was leaving when they had invested so much in me, and had been an amazing employer in general from day 1? I was nervous, I felt disloyal, upset to say goodbye and unsure what repercussions were ahead of me. I decided to write this blogpost to reflect on breaking up with my first adult job and give you some things to think about if you are going through the same thing.

Leaving a job for something new is normal

People change jobs all the time. Especially for my generation where the lifespan of being with 1 company is about 3 to 5 years (I was at this job for 3 years). Even if you look at the employee churn rate of Silicon Valley companies, it is about 2 years. My generation probably aren't going to have a job for life and trying many companies in your career span is definitely to be expected. So don't feel guilty for exploring other opportunities.

Be honest with your feedback

Give feedback to your employers as often as needed, both the positive and constructive kind of feedback - don't wait until your exit interview. On this note, Mark Logan produced this really interesting blog post on exit interviews and why they don't work!

Give the people that helped you the recognition they deserve

Peer to peer recognition in the workplace can really influence someone's confidence and in turn provide an opportunity for career progression. Before I left my job I wanted to make sure I made a point of providing as much feedback as I could to senior managers about the people I thought deserved it and who had helped me during my time there. Almost as a parting gift and to practice my new found love for Shine Theory (I am currently loving the Call Your Girlfriend podcast who coined the phrase - check them out!).

Set your previous team up for success

I know there is a lot of people who, once they hand in their notice they "clock out" from what they are currently working on. I had worked with my team for a long time, I cared about them and I cared about what we had built together. I wanted to give as much help to my team as I could before my last day. I put effort into my handover and made sure the right members of my personal network were introduced to each-other (it really is all about who you meet at the coffee machine). I also made sure I handed in my notice as early as I could to transfer as much knowledge as possible in a maximized timeframe. Give your job your all to your last day, then go enjoy your leaving drinks!

Invest in maintaining your bridges

Once you have moved on don't forget about your ex-colleagues, for me investing time in maintaining the bridges you have built is so important for both your career and personal life. The people you used to see everyday are the foundation of your growth. You never know what is next on the horizon or where you could next collaborate, start a new project together or get introductions to new people. (Shout out to my first ever 'work wife' who is still one of my closest friends, I can't wait to see what's next for her career!)

Taking the leap of faith

When I told my manager I decided to move on to a new opportunity, she could not have been more supportive and was so excited for me. I am really grateful for that. If you see an opportunity that excites you, that you feel is right to take you out of your comfort zone and has came along at the right time - take it. Leaving a job you know inside and out is scary but taking these leaps of faith provides you with the most amazing learning curve, an experience to grow from and a way to lead you to your next career milestone.

I will be forever grateful for my first adult job giving me such an amazing start in my career. Have you left your first adult job recently? I would love to hear any of your advice. Pin for later

Hi, I'm Sophie! I hope you enjoy my blog where I share my tips on traveling, starting a career, eating healthy, dating and all those other tricky things of being in your 20s.


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