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    9 Things To Do After You Quit Your Old Job And Before You Start Your New One

    "Easier said than done, but there's no need to feel guilty."

    Millennials and Gen Z'ers tend to share different attitudes about staying in a job than the generations before us. And although we're not afraid to drop a job (especially for the sake of our mental health, cash flow, or lateral growth), we're not immune to the anxiety that comes with making these transitions.

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    If you can relate, here are some things you can do between leaving your old job and starting your new one that can help you make the most of the transition:

    But first and foremost, congratulations on the new gig! You deserve it.

    1. First, try to leave on a good note. I get it: Some jobs are toxic AF, but do your best not to leave a sour taste in anyone's mouth before you go.

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    Instead, "Put time into training your replacement and stay upbeat and positive," says Eryn Schultz, founder of Her Personal Finance. "You're leaving. There's no need to lay on the negativity." Despite what many movies suggest, your last two weeks is not the time to read your boss for filth (even if they deserve it).

    If you do, you won't be able to get a referral from your employer anymore and won't be able to go back to your old job if your new one doesn't pan out. So try to keep things polite and hand in your two weeks' notice, train the new hire, and complete any leftover assignments. It's not about your boss. It's about you and keeping your professional future intact. 

    In the words of our former FLOTUS, "When they go low, we go high." Find joy and peace in the fact that you're moving on to bigger and better things. 

    2. Be honest in your exit interview, but try not to be too harsh. Your employers will review what you have to say, and you don't want to jeopardize relationships.

    Woman talking with two interviewers in an office
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    A scathing exit interview can burn bridges with your old employer. It's a great chance to express your frustrations, but do so in a way that sounds constructive instead of critical. Again, it's all about self-preservation!

    3. Take the time to collect all the proof of your success at your old job, like performance reviews, testimonials, and successful projects. It's great for your résumé *and* your ego.

    Big stacks of file folders full of your acheivements
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    Do not leave your job without the receipts that prove how awesome you were and all the things you accomplished. "This is great rĂ©sumé and LinkedIn fodder for the future," says Maureen McCann, executive career strategist at ProMotion Career Solutions. "This is important because many of us forget the details of the projects we've worked on and how they've made a real difference to the companies where we've worked. I remember saving the company money on that project — was it $13K or $15K? These details come in handy in the future." 

    Looking back on all you've accomplished is a great way to beat back impostor syndrome too. 

    4. Take a vacation if you can afford to. Starting a new job often comes with its own load of stress, so it's important to take time to refresh before working again.

    Woman on a tropical beach
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    Moving from one job to the next can be taxing, and it may take a little while to adapt to a new team and workplace. Taking a vacay gives you a chance to recharge and relax before starting your next gig. 

    "Take the time you need," McCann says. "There's nothing worse than hopping into a new job too quickly, only to find out it is as bad, or worse, than the one you left."

    And remember, your vacation doesn't need to be in the Maldives or Tulum. It can also be a week of Netflix with your phone on DND.

    5. Update your résumé, cover letter, and any other application materials after leaving your job.

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    There's no better time to update and improve your application materials than after leaving a job. All of your accomplishments and skills are still fresh in your mind, so adding to your professional and personal accounts will be a breeze. But for your social media and professional networking sites, it's generally advised to wait at least a week before you post about your new job. This gives you time to settle in and make sure the new job is a good fit.

    6. If you had a 401(k) at your old job, look into rolling it over so you don't lose track of it.

    Eggs in a nest labeled 401k, roth, and IRA
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    Schultz encourages people starting a new job to make time for mapping out their 401(k).  

    "Half of Americans with a 401(k) have forgotten to make a plan for their retirement savings when they leave their job," Schultz says. "This makes it really hard to remember how much money you have and where it's invested." Some options are to roll your 401(k) over to your new employer or look into an IRA. 

    "Once you start work, you're going to be busy learning a new role and building relationships," Schultz says. "If you take the time to understand the benefits of your job ranging from the 401(k) to healthcare, to the commuter program, you will potentially make yourself thousands of dollars in additional perks." So you might use a bit of time between jobs to do some research on benefits so you can make the best decisions about your healthcare and other things.  

    7. Take a beat and reflect on your career and where you want to be. Sit down and really think about what you want to do in your position and how this new job can help you get there.

    Woman meditating in her backyard
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    Logan Murray, a financial planner for Pocket Project, suggests "taking time to reflect on what went right and wrong in the last job, and how you are going to focus on using this information to make the new job a success."

    It may seem like you're on the clock during that time between leaving and starting your new job, but take a breath. There is no need to rush (like AT ALL).

    "Consider what went well in the last job and what didn't," McCann says. "Figure out how to include all the stuff you really enjoyed in your next job. Identify how you will handle the stuff that wasn't so good."

    This is also a great time to think about what motivates you besides money.

    "Compensation is often held up as the top motivator early in our careers, but there are so many others to choose from," McCann says. "Working remotely is popular right now. What about doing great work that feels amazing? Working on problems that change the world? Making a positive impact in your chosen industry? The freedom to explore and develop your skillset? What's the thing driving your career choice right now? What do you want out of your career?"

    Start there. 

    8. Know that feeling guilty for leaving a job is normal, but remember, you don't have to feel remorseful. Leaving a job is part of working.

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    Your bosses have left jobs in the past, and your coworkers will eventually leave your old job, too. 

    "Easier said than done, but there's no need to feel guilty," McCann says. "This is business (even if it's a nonprofit). The company will replace you within a few weeks, if not sooner. If you've chosen to leave, chances are you have good reason."

    We're human, and yes, leaving a job you've been at for a while can be sad, but you're not letting anyone down. You're just doing what makes sense for your life, which is fantastic. 

    "Try not to personalize your work and release feelings of guilt for leaving because if you do not prioritize yourself and your needs, no one else will," says Dr. Sabrina Romanoff, clinical psychologist, and professor at Yeshiva University. "There is a culture of working until burned out, and people often take pride in the amount of sacrifices they make for their jobs. For many, leaving is a monumental step toward taking care of themselves and doing what is best for them."

    9. Finally, if you find yourself getting nervous and wondering if you're up for the challenge (or why they even hired you), you're not alone. We've all been there, and the truth is, you were chosen over all the other candidates.

    Woman rubbing her temples at her desk
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    Impostor syndrome can be a real drag, and of course, there's no one-and-done solution for it. But there are ways to keep it at bay. 

    "My tip: Start a daily journal to track your successes," McCann says. "What have you accomplished this month, this week, today, this afternoon? We're so busy focusing on the future that many of us haven't stopped to look back and marvel at the accomplishments we've achieved to date."

    Finally, don't forget that starting a new job is an exciting and monumental accomplishment. There are so many things you can do during this in-between time, but most of all, pat yourself on the back because You. Did. THAT.

    What do you like to do before you start a new job? Share your tips in the comments.

    And for more stories about work and money, check out the rest of our personal finance posts.