To begin the new year, we want to focus on job transition strategies. As the economy begins to improve, many executives find that it is worth the risk to see what other opportunities may await them in other organizations. You have probably made several resolutions for the upcoming year, and if one of those resolutions involves finding greater job satisfaction and security, it may be the perfect time to look for a new job.
This post will offer some suggestions, as well as potential traps to avoid, as you begin your job search.
Keep your job search confidential
Until you are completely certain that you will be transitioning to a new organization, the confidentiality of your job search is key. Taking basic common sense precautions, such as not using electronic equipment in your office to copy and transmit resumes, are in order.
If you ultimately decide to remain in your current job, these steps will help avoid an awkward situation with your boss and coworkers.
Consult your employment agreement
Many executives sign employment agreements at the beginning of their tenure with a company or at other points during their employment. Your employment agreement could contain a restrictive covenant, or a clause restricting what you are able to do after you end your employment with the company.
The most troublesome restrictive covenant is a non-compete provision, which restricts your ability to work for a competitor of your employer in a certain geographic area for a certain period of time.
Assuming that the non-compete provision in your contract is legally enforceable, you should be sure that the job you’re considering would not cause you to violate that non-compete provision. If there is the chance of a violation and you still wish to proceed, you should strongly consider advising your new employer of the possibility of litigation over the non-compete provision.
Consider the question of severance
If you have an employment agreement, it may grant you the right to a severance payment, even if you resign from your job.
If you are entitled to severance, you should make sure that you follow all of the steps required under the agreement for receiving a payment. These could include providing sufficient notice of your departure and cooperating with the company in offering transition assistance.
Do not burn bridges
If you do transition away from your organization, do your best to keep that transition civil. If you are able to maintain a strong relationship with your former workplace moving forward, your future career prospects will be that much stronger.
If you are thinking about making a career transition, or if you have questions about your employment agreement or a non-compete provision, you may want to consult with an experienced employment attorney.