The time has come. You built up the mustard to tell your boss that you quit. You can spend the next two weeks binge watching “Stranger Things” on Netflix or you can be productive and walk out of the office on the last day with a great reputation.
To ensure you make a lasting impression with everyone you work with, prepare to help your employer tie up loose ends so you can exit the same way you entered - on a high note. Here are nine things you can do to guarantee a smooth exit.
There was a reason that you were in the position you just quit. You know things. Valuable things. A good transition or knowledge transfer includes training a replacement or documenting all the things you do. There are many small things you do on a daily basis that are not in the job description. One of the best things that can be done is making sure that your former employer is set up success after your departure.
Most companies won’t find your replacement before you leave. Even if you do a great job documenting what you do, you will probably forget things. There are pieces of our jobs that we do so much it becomes second nature. It won’t be second nature to the person that takes your opening. Offering to be available by phone or email when possible is huge for your ex-employer. The best part is that this time should be compensated. Make sure to state that clearly upon your exit.
Employers love when an employee gives a little more than two weeks. This is not always possible but if you can do it, do. It generally makes the process of transfer a lot easier for the employer. This also gives your team extra time to ask you questions… they will have a lot of questions.
You are going to be excited about starting your new role, or that amazing walkabout through southeast asia - but you need to focus on asking questions about your departure. Do I need to update you with my new address? Yes - they need to send you a W2, Do you have a question about your 401k? Ask it before you leave. Once you leave it becomes exponentially harder to get in touch and becomes a time suck for the employer. Ask everything you think you need to ask and then ask some more. It’s easier before you leave.
Referrals are a great way for the employer to find great candidates (as is find.jobs).
Before you leave your ex-employer will be greatly appreciative if you refer a few candidates for the role you are leaving. As stated earlier, they probably will not have found a replacement before you leave - give them some hot leads.
It’s likely that the role you are leaving does not have the same description as when you first started. If the company has an online way of editing this, give it an update. If it does not ask the hiring manager or HR department if they would like your input on the job description. Roles are modified all the time. This is also a great way for you to document the old vs new and refresh yourself on the changes you made within the company.
Bridges are way better when you can walk across them. Burning them does neither side any good. Generally it is immature and unprofessional to leave on bad terms. Keep positive relationships when possible and take the lessons you learn to your new employer or venture.
When an employee leaves a business it is an opportunity to learn what worked, what didn’t and what might work in the future. An honest and open exit interview is a great way to get this information. Don’t confuse honest with mean. The goal here is to give constructive feedback, everyone deserves the chance to improve.
No go forth and enjoy your new job knowing that you did right by your ex-employer. If you did not line a job up make sure to check out our resume tips - but we know you didn't quit before you lined up something new. Right?