Career Advice:

Planning Out Your Business Exit Strategy

So you've taken on a new venture, which you expected to be something great and worthwhile. Instead, you wound up being not so happy and content in your new found position. Sometimes things just do not turn out how we expect them to. Now you want out. What do you do from here?

First of all, if it is just a new responsibility or position within your company that you no longer want yet want to remain part of the company, you need to make sure you will still have a position to revert to when you announce you want to exit from your new role. All that is left now is to plan your exit in a manner that has both the firm's and your own best interests in mind.

Your first step in planning your exit should be to make a list of all the people from your peer level and above who will be affected by your exit. Keep in mind how your leaving will affect all these people and the company and how you can best turn this into a positive transition. The first person you actually want to voice your decision to should be the person of the highest title who appears on your list of affected persons. Communicate to that person your desire to leave your responsibility or position behind and your reasoning behind it. Make sure you do not come across as no longer wanting the responsibilities because you are lazy and the job requires you to work too hard or you may not retain a position within the company at all. Express that you would prefer to extend your skills elsewhere where you could make a greater impact on work performance, etc. Stand firm now, because there is a great possibility that the corporate boss might try to get you to change your mind about things. Listen to what he or she has to say, but do not let their feelings intimidate you into doing something that you do not want to do.

Next you need to plan how you will present your decision to your managers and colleagues. To make it official, you should present a letter to them that is addressed to the supervisor to whom you are currently reporting and copy other managers and colleagues. Explain in the letter what it is you will no longer be doing as well as the reasons you have for no longer taking care of your former responsibilities. If you are not leaving the company, do not use the word resign! Try using keywords such as "refocus" instead to give your letter a positive edge instead of a negative one.

Following these helpful hints should make stepping down from one responsibility in a company a much easier and more professional transition. By focusing on the positive aspects of your stepping away from one position or responsibility, you will still retain your professional demure and reputation while moving onto another type of role within your same company.