Career changes are part of the professional journey. As much as you love your association and have probably invested a lot of time, energy, and love into it, there may be a better opportunity on the horizon. Here are a few things to consider when preparing your association to get along without you.
There’s never going to be a perfect time to tell your association you’re leaving. Honestly, it’s best to just get it over with and tell your board and staffers as soon as you decide to accept another offer. While it may seem abrupt and you’ll hate leaving projects incomplete, giving your association ample time to plan to hire a replacement and pick your brain while they can.
If you’re worried about certain projects or tasks you’ve mastered and taken over, start thinking about a plan before you inform your association. It’ll take the edge off the panic that the board will inevitably feel imagining your departure.
Have a timeline in mind
Have exact days of when your projects will end, when certain trainings or handoffs will happen, and when you’re leaving for good.
Nominate people to take over projects
If you have someone in mind who would be good to take over your regular projects, mention him or her to the board or staffers. As a second part to this step, ask around and see if anyone would want to volunteer for your regular tasks. You may be surprised!
Think about technology
If you’re the point person for your AMS, keep in mind that you’ll have to have another ASA and make sure staffers are trained up so they may assist members with your AMS if you need it.
Your departure will probably be hard on both you and your association. Stay open, honest, and optimistic! Be sure to illustrate the bright future of the association and the fresh blood that a new leader can bring.
Agree on announcements
Don’t go blurting things out to the entire association! Be sure to give your notice to your board and staff first, then agree on when and how the announcement will go out. And watch social media! Don’t announce anything until your association knows.
Good luck! The future is yours!