Updated: Mar 26, 2020
With a notice and an official resignation submitted, you still need to consider a few important things to ensure a smooth transition before your final exit.
When you know you are about to leave a job, it is quite possible for you to not be very concerned with your tasks or responsibilities. Withholding communication, not ensuring a graceful transition, burning bridges and damaging relationships with your colleagues and supervisors are all things that you should avoid, for the way you leave makes a huge difference. Leaving on good terms helps you get good references for the next phase in your career and also leaves out the possibility for you to get back to the company in case of an opening in the future. Besides, you may even get to work alongside your past colleagues and supervisors at other jobs. Hence, it is quite important to have an exit strategy and carefully plan your departure. Here are the 7 things that you need to consider -
1. Work on your Resume, LinkedIn Profile and Portfolio.
Having an updated Resume, LinkedIn Profile and Portfolio is a great way to move into job search mode quickly and demonstrate the knowledge and expertise that you possess. Write LinkedIn recommendations for your colleagues and supervisors as it will also help you get some of your own. Ask customers, supervisors, colleagues and suppliers to take some time out and write a LinkedIn recommendation for you. Note that it is always considered wise to have an updated resume ready with you regardless of having a plan to quit. However, it is very common to find many people neglecting this and only worry about having their resume updated once they have left their job and are in search of another. It is a lot easier to update your resume when you are on the job as the details are fresh in your mind. The longer you stay at your job, the more difficult it is to update your resume after you have quit, with the long list of projects, job titles, references, job skills etc. to be added.
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2. Plan your finances.
If you do not have a new job lined up, it is important to sort out your finances and have enough money saved to meet a minimum of 6 to 12 months of expenses. Finding a new job can take a while and it is best to always be prepared for months of no work through effective financial planning. Create a monthly budget around the money you have saved and cut back on your variable expenses. This will allow you to take charge of your finances and control your spending habits. Find our tips and ways to save money here. Besides that, you can always develop other sources of income through a side hustle and have multiple sources of income instead of only relying on your job. Find more information here. Related - Top 3 Finance Apps to help you Manage your Budgets and Track your Expenses! The 50/30/20 rule when it comes to Budgeting! Implement the 30 day rule to control your Spending Habits!
3. Be professional, avoid burning bridges.
It doesn't matter what the reason may be behind you leaving your job, always be professional about it. Follow the procedure when it comes to submitting your resignation and you may have to give a notice period of two-four weeks as per the policy followed. Avoid badmouthing the management and your superiors on social media, stealing client information, deleting important files and engaging in other unprofessional behaviour. It does not reflect well on you and will not work in your favour when potential employers in the future would be reaching out for an inquiry about your performance. People have long memories about negativity and you do not want a bad reference. Take the time to express gratitude and thank everyone who has helped you to be productive in your role.
4. Save everything that you may need.
Save all work samples, files and other documents you may need as part of your portfolio for future jobs. Also, save the contact information of colleagues, clients and other vendors who you may wish to reach out to. Having that list of contacts will always help you in your career as someone in that list may even refer you to your next place of employment.
5. Have a plan.
Leaving your job is a major life step and it is important to have a plan before you quit. Assess your alternatives, explore your options and prepare for a job search. If you wish to change your career path, research and understand all that you may need for example, an educational course or a part-time or internship gig to get you started. Besides that, you may wish to start something of your own and you may need to look into all the requirements to set up your business.
6. Return all office belongings.
Avoid keeping any office equipment such as the laptop or mobile phone which may have been given to you at the start of your tenure. They do not belong to you and the company would need it to review the files and contacts on it or even hand it over to your successor. Keeping these office belongings with you after you have quit can be considered as theft and you may even face legal charges.
7. Ensure a smooth transition.
Leaving a mess behind for your colleagues or your successor to clear out is unprofessional and creates a bad final impression. Make an effort to get things organized and offer to train your successor to ensure a smooth transition. Complete all the important tasks and projects that you may need before you leave, your manager will thank you for this. Let your employers or the new hire know that they can contact you within reason, should they have any questions.
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