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Have you decided to quit your job to stay home? The trick is to exit gracefully without burning any bridges.
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You’ve decided to leave the financial rewards of the work world in favor of the emotional rewards of being a stay-at-home mom, at least for a time. Is there a way to leave your job on good terms?

Update your records. Before you inform your boss that you’re expecting, plan ahead for a distant future when you might consider returning to the working world again. Update your resume before you go while all of your achievements are fresh on your mind. Make sure you have contact information for co-workers and business connections. Business networking sites like Linked In (www.linkedin.com) can help. In a few years, it may be tough to remember your colleagues’ last names, not to mention the details of the projects you worked on together. Also, you might want to change your contact information with trade journals and professional organizations — they can help you stay on top of developments in your field from home.

Consider part-time or working from home. Your employer may offer you those options. Just keep in mind that it’s pretty much impossible to get any work done and take care of an infant or toddler, too, but if you can arrange babysitting and the price is right, it may be worth considering. You can also offer to try out a flexible arrangement for a week or two.

Calling it quits. If you do go, two weeks’ notice is standard courtesy. But if you happen to be approaching a busy season, like tax time for accountants or the holidays for retail, it’s a good gesture to give more notice. It’s also nice to offer to train your replacement or leave notes to help your successor settle in.

Don’t forget your 401(k). If you have an employer-sponsored savings plan, you might want to roll any funds in it to an Individual Retirement Account.

Sandy and Marcie Jones are the authors of Great Expectations: Baby's First Year. Order your copy from Barnes & Noble

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