Your Big Branding Moment: The Job Switch

If you have both a career and the Internet, you understand that changing jobs is a major branding opportunity—here's how to make the most of it.

Since we're all media companies now—thank you, social networks—we need to make career transitions with the same aplomb that a startup makes a pivot. Luckily Leslie Bradshaw, who's transitioned from data visualization firm JESS3 to video startup Guide, has walked the personal-press-conference path before.

These are the steps that worked for her:

Don't drop digital hints.

Though it might be tempting to be all "come hither" with your tweets and updates, the risk outweighs your attention-seeking reward—as Bradshaw writes, "any swarm of new friends or connections would have surely tipped my hand early," so abstain from mass friending of your soon-to-come office playmates.

Prepare to launch (sequence).

The launch sequence is the when, what, and where of your announcement. Remember when LeBron James announced that he was "taking his talents" to Miami? This is like that, but without you looking like a gigantic jerk. Bradshaw breaks it down:

  • When: To own your message, time it down to the minute.
  • What: Figure out your talking points.
  • Where: Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are obvious updates—but get SlideShare, AngelList, and any smaller networks, too.

Announce your departure, breathe, then announce the new gig.

Leaving some breathing room between announcing your departure and celebrating your new job is respectful to all parties involved—Bradshaw put seven weeks between announcements.
The keys to writing a gracious goodbye:
Show gratitude: Focus on what you're going to miss the most.
Stay positive: Never go negative—if you can't muster positivity, Bradshaw says to keep it short, sweet, and inoffensive.
Share timing: Say when you'll follow up an update with your new job.
The subsequent "I've got a new job!" post will rhyme with this one, showing how thankful and enthused you are for the new position.

Update your title everywhere.

Bradshaw recommends listening to the 1812 Overture for an extra dose of epic as you fill in your new title across platforms.

And...bask.

The "outpouring of positivity" Bradshaw received after announcing her new job "was the greatest feeling in the world." You want that, too. Now you know how to get it.

Changing Jobs? How to Announce it Strategically

Drake Baer covers leadership for Fast Company. You can follow him on Twitter.

[Image: Flickr user mtellin]

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2 Comments

  • Kmmaat

    Totally agree with Bradshaw, we always meet again, it's a small world. Follow your heart and remain truthfull

  • Ryan Donnell

    I think it really depends on your relationship with your former and new positions on announcements. If you are leaving a sinking ship, I don't think the wait really applies, since everyone in your network is looking to leave as well.