If You Could interview Cat How on how to level up a creative career

Creative jobs board and career advice page, If You Could, recently spoke to our Creative Director, Cat How, for their article Take Five: How To Leave A Job On A High.

As Sarah Trounce writes for this article: “Sometimes telling your current boss that you’re quitting their business can be as nerve wracking as starting at a new company.” So she gives five practical steps to levelling up your creative career — with some insider wisdom from our very own Cat. Read the full article here or you can read Cat and Sarah's full transcript below.

Sarah Trounce: Is there a ‘good' way to leave a job?

Cat How: Before founding How&How, I set up and ran a range of different businesses so have had a fair bit of experience with this over the years. As an employer of course it is always sad to see someone go, but if you’re the person leaving then the best thing to do is to give ample warning and to keep things upbeat and on good terms. Your contract might say you only have to give 4 weeks notice, but if you know it will take your boss a while to replace you as you’ve been in that job for a long time and are integral to your team—then I guarantee they will appreciate you giving them a bit more lead time :) So a few weeks before your official notice period is ideal, and shows you are thinking about them and the wider team. An email, letter, chat in person or virtual call is also a great way to let your boss know you want to move on—and to work with them on when you want to let others in the team know. Then, smaller details like making sure you book handover meetings the week before you go are also a thoughtful way of leaving on a ‘good’ note to your old company.

Sarah Trounce: What do you as an employer expect in terms of process and communication?

Cat How: We’ve pretty good retention at How&How, and have only had one full-timer leave for pastures new—and they were a model of process and communication! They emailed us in advance, then we worked out when it would be good for them to tell the team on one of our team-standup meetings. We had cake / card and a pressie on their last day. It’s important as an employer to also value someone’s decision to want to do something different in their career, and encourage them to spread their wings when they decide to do so.

Sarah Trounce: Are there any useful lessons you’ve learned from the experience of either moving on yourself or seeing other people move on?

Cat How: I think the most useful from an employer’s point of view is to not take it personally when someone wants to move on—and to actually support that decision when they do. Even if it seems a bit like reverse thinking—I strongly believe it isn’t. When our employee left last month, I wrote a post on LinkedIn for her — promoting her skills and letting people know what an asset she would be to a team. Even included her embarrassing leaving card we made for her! Teehee. I think it’s always important to make sure that leaving is a positive experience for all, and a normal, healthy part of running a business and on the flipside, being in a job. As an employer you have to relinquish control, and as an employee leaving you have to show tact when you decide to move on. You never know when you might bump into each other in the virtual jobs world again :)

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