Moving on: A graceful exit strategy


Ok. So you’ve done the things. You’ve worked with your manager. You’ve tried to advance internally. Or your dream position doesn’t exist within your current company – or it’ll take 20 more years to get there.

You’ve done everything you can do. It’s time. Let’s move on. Here’s how.

Compose yourself

Gather up your mental abilities and willpower, and get it together. Leaving an old job behind is an emotional process. You will likely have so many feelings – anger, sadness, envy, frustration, anxiety, excitement, curiosity, relief – the list goes on. While it’s good to be reminded that you are a product of your emotions, that doesn’t always resonate as well with your next recruiter. So take the time you need to mourn your loss, feel your feelings, and get ready to move on. This mental exercise can take place even in your current role – your employer can’t read your mind, and sometimes that’s a great thing. Gain the composure and clarity you need to move on.

Compose your resume

Perhaps it’s a reflection of a lack of self-composure, but I notice all too often coffee folks fall into the most common trap of all time: the crappy resume. I am also guilty as charged – usually when I send a crappy resume or cover letter, I wrote it in a half-baked attempt to move on. So once you’re fully baked (see above), google writing a resume and do it right! This goes for cover letters too. Here are two articles to start with:

8 Resume Style Mistakes You're Probably Making 

How to Target a Resume for a Specific Job

And some basic resume bullet points:

  • People who’ve been on earth for over 10,000 years: your resume can be as long as you want. Everyone else: write a one page resume
  • Check for typos. Now check again. Now check again.
  • Customize resumes for future employers.
  • Write it like you’re a human being, not a robot
  • Make it legible (big enough font, standard font, no funny business)
  • No more than six bullets per list (I am a descriptive sentence girl myself, but the internet really wants you to write bullets. I want you to write whatever makes you sound your best).

Get active on the internet recruity places

Spruce up social sites, like LinkedIn and Facebook. Update all your contact info, job history, put up a fresh new photo, and just remind people you’re alive. And not in an unprofessional way. Now might be a good time to make sure your social media outlets are employer-friendly:


Google yourself. Make to make the stuff out there as positive and professional as possible.

Let people know you’re looking for work

Many positions in the coffee world are never posted publicly – so keep that in mind if you’re searching through job boards and never seem to find anything that’s right for you. Get feelers out there to companies you’d like to work with. Chat with colleagues and friends. You don’t have to blast anything from the rooftops (nor do I advise this strategy – I haven’t heard of anyone getting hired this way.) But asking around, seeing what’s out there, and letting people know you’re looking often leads to next moves. Also, hint hint, email me.

Move on to the next role – wisely

When you’ve gotten your ducks in a row and confirmed everything is ready with your new employer, let your current, soon-to-be previous employer know it’s time to part ways. What do I mean by “everything is ready”? Have a confirmed start date. Have all paperwork complete and submitted. Make sure your references were checked, if it’s reference-checking employer. Make sure you are aware of any pre-employment assessments, including drug tests, you may have to take before you begin. If relocation is required, get those details sorted out. And ideally, receive an offer statement of some kind, in writing, that lists these details. Basically, be sure you really have the job before you say goodbye to the old one. Otherwise… things can get pretty awkward.

Write your resignation letter. Keep it short, and keep it professional. Thank your employer for the opportunity, and keep your tone in line with your resignation letter while you finish your time. You can be over-the-moon for the next job, but your current boss and co-workers don’t need to hear about it. They certainly don’t want to know why you hate your current job so much you needed to QUIT. So, just stay calm, stay cordial, keep it together, and say goodbye peacefully. In this industry, the odds are you’ll be working with a former co-worker again before you know it. Let the reputation of professionalism proceed you – both as you enter, and exit, your workplaces.



Anne NylanderComment