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Changing Jobs in Product Management: Leaving, Starting, and Building Bridges (Part III of III)

This post is part of a three-part series about changing jobs in Product Management. Part one was about doing a self-evaluation and farming your network. Part two was about interviewing and evaluating offers. In this final part, we will discuss how to leave the right way, start on the right foot, and build bridges for the future.

A rock bridgeAfter you have gone through the entire process of self-evaluation, farming, interviewing, offer evaluation, and acceptance, you will probably be mentally exhausted. There are still important steps to take before you can close the chapter on your current company, which must be done with grace.

No matter what kind of relationship you have with your current company, boss, or peers, leaving the “right way” is critical. It is a small World, and people have long memories – you want to be the person that they remember for all of your good traits, not for storming out the door or telling your boss to “take this job and…” …No matter how good it might feel. Remember, these people are your future references, and there is a fair chance you’ll run into them again in another role, or on the street, and you want that to be a pleasant meeting.

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Changing Jobs in Product Management: Self Evaluation and Farming (Part I of III)

FarmingFirst, I’d like to thank those of you who keep up with Product Beautiful. Many of you I’ve had a chance to meet through networking, ProductCamp, at tradeshows, or we just ran into one another. Something I try to do with Product Beautiful is give Product Managers some helpful strategic thoughts and tactical tips for situations that you face in your job. This series of posts is about the process of changing jobs in Product Management and Product Marketing.

I am currently in the job change process, leaving NetStreams and moving to much larger company in a different industry. Going through the process has made me reflect and think about what people mean when they say “He left the right way.” To be successful in business and in life you need to build more bridges than you burn, so it is important to know the unspoken rules about entering and leaving jobs, because while people may say “it’s just business;” it is personal, relationships matter, and telling your boss that you’re leaving can be a sensitive conversation.

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