Say yes! Be open for new challenges!

Mitja Lomp | Member since 2016

Everybody of us spends a lot of time at work – the job is one crucial part of our lives and a huge factor for our happiness. So, it is worth to take some time to reflect – am I at the right point at the right time?
In the following I would like to share some personal thoughts and findings of my last 8 months:
It is very important to “feel” the right time for a new step in career and in life in general. This feeling consists of various factors such as current career step, learning curve, private situation and many more. The challenge after realizing that you are up for a change, is to come up with a solid decision and to execute it. This can be a process of a few weeks or even months. For me that process began at the end of last year (2016), when I was starting my 7th year at Bertelsmann and was about to finish my part time MBA program. Until that time, it was clear and absolutely natural for me to take the next step within the large group I worked for 6 years already. Being contacted by the first headhunter on LinkedIn, changed my perspective. Suddenly I was invited for a job interview and the imagination to leave Bertelsmann got a real and a potential scenario. In the end, I talked to 3 big consultancy companies and received 3 offers which was a very pleasant situation. During that time, I thought a lot about my personal comfort zone. I considered all the benefits of my current situation: I knew the company very well, had a great network on all levels of hierarchy, found many mentors, great colleagues and friends and was able to estimate quite well every next opportunity within the group – so to say 100% comfort zone. I began to think about how my personal development would proceed if I chose the way directly out of this comfortable situation to do something new, maybe also in another city or even country?
I listed down 6 points, which have no right to be seen as complete, which I felt helpful in such a situation. I would like to share these with you:

 1. Change is good – see chances.

2. Leave the comfort zone – trust yourself.

3. Be open for new opportunities.

4. Effective and sustainable goodbye at work.

5. Take time to relax, reflect and calm down in between the jobs.

6. Listen to your inner voice and trust yourself.


Finally, I would like to describe the fourth and fifths point more detailed:
The Goodbye:
To communicate internally that you want to quit your job is not easy if you always have had a good relationship and no reason for revenges. In this whole process of leaving the company, the real quality of cooperation gets visible. For me it was crucial to leave with a positive feeling and consisting and reliable relationships. Today I can say I was able to finish/transfer all my projects in a professional manner with the same sense of freedom as before. Finally, I left a clean desk and many wishes to come back one day – a good feeling. But how did I reach that goal?
This process consisted basically on 4 steps:
1. Prepare communication
I talked to my direct report first BEFORE my decision was finally made. I arranged a decent meeting, one morning in the beginning of the week and announced I need to talk about a personal issue.
2. Start positive
During the meeting, I began to show my honest appreciation for my boss, my job and the company. I told him what I like at my job and why I enjoy working for him.
3. Be transparent
Then I explained my current situation in career and life and future plans/goals. I illustrated my options (the 3 job offers) and asked him about his honest opinion about what to do, as I cared about his thought.
4. Celebrate the Farewell
I organized two different Farewell-parties (department/rest) at two locations in order to be able to say goodbye to as many colleagues as possible. On the one hand, it is the chance to talk personally to many people but on the other hand it starts a process of personal reflection. After I sent out the two meeting invitations to 250+ colleagues from different departments and business units, my quit suddenly felt pretty real and this strange feeling of “any day will be my last day here” was replaced by “my last day here will be soon”.
The break:
Changing jobs enables you to use a special situation – start the new contract 1-x month/s later to realize a huge holiday, sabbatical or what you have ever dreamed off, but never had the time to. These possibilities do not occur every day. It is the best way to leave the old job behind and to be 100% open for new challenges. I took in total 6 weeks off to arrange my move to the new city and to travel 3 weeks through Indonesia. I went to Bali, did the first surf camp in my life and travelled further trough the country with its beautiful islands including party, snorkeling, surfing, sunrises at volcanos, reading books and especially meeting many new people (and monkeys), as I travelled alone. This was actually the first time for me to travel without constant company, my personal challenge for this year. It was a great experience and I do not regret it. I had enough time to be totally ready for the new challenges ahead and looking forward to the things to come such as new city, flat & job.
All in all – I want to encourage you to see change as a chance and to realize the plans of your “inner voice” – it’s mostly right.


LinkedIn: Mitja Lomp