It’s time to move on to greener pastures! It can be exciting to leave one job for another.
However, you can’t just turn out the lights and wave goodbye on your way out to the parking lot. There are several actions that need to be taken to ensure a smooth transition for you and your replacement. It’s professional and intelligent to leave your company in a positive way.
Take these necessary steps to leave your company properly:
1. Have another job lined up. Unless you’re highly confident or wealthy, it would be much wiser to have another job waiting for you. Your savings can drain a lot faster than you might think, especially if you have a lot of free time on your hands.
◦ It’s wise to ensure that you won’t suffer financially when you leave your current employment.
2. Give your letter of resignation. Two-three weeks of notice is customary. It’s not required. You’re free to leave your job without notice, just as you can be fired without notice. However, it’s polite and the smart way to handle the situation.
3. Clean up your company laptop and phone. You might be a model employee, but you’d probably prefer that your employer not see all of your text messages and emails. While you’re at it, delete your browser history and any personal documents from your laptop and the company server.
◦ If you’ve downloaded any software for personal use, be sure to delete that, too.
◦ Delete any saved passwords from your web browser. You don’t want that information to fall into the hands of a stranger!
4. Clean out your office. Go through your files and purge those items that don’t need to be saved. Remove any personal items and take them home. Your office should be ready for the next person when you’re finished.
5. Avoid burning bridges. It can be tempting to tell your boss and certain coworkers what you really think but think twice before taking that course of action. It’s surprising how often that type of behavior can come back to haunt you.
◦ You never know what the future may hold. It’s best to keep your negative thoughts to yourself.
6. Go out on good terms. This isn’t the same as not burning bridges. Make an effort to go out on a positive note, not just a neutral note. Say goodbye to everyone and thank them. You never know who might be in a position to hire you one day. You also might be in need of a recommendation at some point.
7. Update your resume. Before leaving your current position, update your resume to include everything you’ve accomplished. List any responsibilities and skills that aren’t already on your resume. Update your LinkedIn profile, too.
8. Be aware of your options regarding your retirement accounts. Swing by your HR department and understand your options for moving or keeping your retirement accounts.
9. Visit the doctor. Depending on the deductible and quality of your new insurance plan, it might be smart to hit the dentist, eye doctor, or get a physical before your current insurance runs out.
Avoid the urge to leave a job without having another one lined up! Ensure that your agitation with your boss or company doesn’t lead you to do something foolish. Consider the consequences of not having a job and the possibility of struggling to find a new one. More than a few people have made this mistake.
Enjoy the last few weeks of your current employment. Take the time to exit your company wisely. You’ll be glad you did.