two men complete checklist of things to do before you leave your job

Five things to do before you leave your job

While you might get the immediate rush of satisfaction after resigning in a stormy fashion, emotional decisions are rarely smart for your career.

Leaving your job for greener pastures? Before you hand in your resignation, here are five things to do before you leave a job.

If you’re at the point you want to leave your job, it’s likely you’re frustrated and unhappy. In this state, it can be very tempting to walk into your hiring manager’s office and slam down your letter of resignation. Or you might be ready to wash your hands of the workplace completely and be fighting an urge to simply walk out the door without so much as a goodbye.

While you might get the immediate rush of satisfaction, emotional decisions are rarely smart. Certainly, not for your career or reputation.

Woman considers the things to do before you leave your job

The benefits of a smooth departure

Talking with your manager and co-workers before you leave your job gives you an opportunity to prove your professionalism. Even if the position is no longer right for you, it shows some maturity that you don’t want to further damage relationships. This will also make the exit process, including the payout of any accumulated annual leave, smoother.

If you leave on good terms, this also means you will have positive references to lean on in your search for a new position. This is particularly helpful if you work in an insular industry. If you resign on good terms, you don’t have to worry about working with ex-colleagues in the future because old grievances were settled.

Make a list of things to do before you leave your job

Five things to do before you leave your job

  1. Approach your hiring manager

Before you’ve made the ultimate decision to leave your job, hopefully, you would have already flagged how you’re feeling with your manager. You could do this during a stay interview. At this stage, your manager might have tried to help address the problems and negotiate with you. If you’re unlikely to accept any counteroffers, it’s still courteous to let your manager know before you submit your written notice. Be tactful and express gratitude for the time you have spent in the position.

  1. Write a handover

The most helpful thing you can do is to prepare for the void your workplace might feel once you’ve left your position. Make a list of your daily tasks or open assignments. This will be useful for whoever will be taking on these responsibilities after you leave. Volunteer time to run through this with your manager to ensure nothing is missed. This will also ensure after leaving your position, no blame can be placed on you for not fulfilling your handover duties.

  1. Write LinkedIn recommendations

While your relationships are the strongest and memories the freshest, it’s great to collect references from your colleagues. To do so, start by writing LinkedIn recommendations for your co-workers and key contacts in the business. People will love receiving these messages and are likely to return the favour. This is an easy way to get more recommendations on your own LinkedIn

  1. Save your work

Depending on the terms of your contract, you may be able to save some non-proprietary documents that you have created during your tenure. This could also extend to other things such as saved tabs on your work computer that you would like to access later, key learnings from conferences or even notes on how to use the software. All types of information that might be transferable to a new position should be saved before you hand in your resignation. Some businesses will ask you to leave the property immediately, so it’s best to be prepared.

  1. Say thank you

While you won’t be sending your goodbye email ahead of your resignation, it’s a good idea to practice gratitude in the weeks preceding it. Remember to take the time to thank anyone in the workplace who has extended kindness or helped you in your position. It costs nothing to be kind, and it’s a sure way to build on existing rapport. Once you have submitted your letter of resignation, be sure to send a farewell email that details this same gratitude.


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