Things To Do Before You Leave Your Job

Things To Do Before You Leave Your Job

Just like graduating from University, leaving your current job comes with a lot of mixed feelings; whether or not you know what the future holds. Exiting a job could come in form of resignation, retirement, or outright termination. Regardless of the circumstance of departure, a smooth transition is what is most desired and how you go about this will surely make a difference.

Taking careful steps toward exiting your job can guarantee a smooth transition to the next phase of your life. Minimize the chances of unbinding gains you made in the past and always keep the door open, in case you may want to return in whatever capacity in the future. You are likely to hover within the same industry; therefore mutual collaboration of any scale should not be far insight. On a personal note, leaving a job on the right terms will lessen the after-effects your departure will have on your psyche and finances.

Your last few days on the job might get you nervous and anxious, hence the need to be very conscious of whatever you are doing; from private interactions with colleagues, to how you perform your role. Resist the temptation of being less diligent or of settling old scores with a co-worker or superior. Brush off such thoughts and remain focused on your duties. This doesn’t mean you should be up-tied in your final days at work; feel free to ask for input from your supervisor concerning the priorities for your departure.

The benefits of leaving your job on a good note are enormous, but most importantly is, it solidifies your colleagues’ good perception of your professionalism and personality; which will speak for you long after you have gone. There is a sequence of things you should do before leaving your job, they are;


  1. Make a Transition Plan

It’s very easy to have an array of ideas on how to go about your departure, but if it is not documented and arranged in an order of either time or priority, it might be very difficult to accomplish. It doesn’t have to be appealing; it should just be realistic and comprehensive. Your transition plan should include the following information:

    • Who will own each of your projects and tasks henceforth?
    • The days each of these projects will be transmitted to their new owners.
    • What pending task you will have to complete before exiting the organization and what time frame for their accomplishments

These can be accompanied by other information about your new job if you have secured one. How long can you cater for yourself without a job (if you are still searching) and how long it will take you to adjust outside your current job? Mind you, even though this should be for personal use, it is not out of place to seek input from close friends and colleagues.


  1. Inform Your Boss First.

This may only come up when you are resigning, as termination and retirements will already be known to them. Your boss should be the first within the building to know you are leaving; politely tell them a little about your motives and appreciate them for having and supporting you. Even if you feel like telling a close colleague, it is best you inform your superior prior, they might feel disrespected hearing it from elsewhere. This can weaken their reference to you in the future.

You can follow up on this information with a notice at least two to four weeks to the time of your planned exit. Four weeks might seem too long especially when you dislike your job, but trust me, it will make the transition easier for everyone and endear your professionalism.

  1. Archive all Personal work-related Documents.

Make time to transfer all your work and documents to your personal computer or email. Most times, people leave an organization and lose access to documents of tasks and professional input they have made. A need for them might pop up in your new place of work or as a reference while searching for a new job, so having them intact will go a long way in making things easier for you when the need arises. It also requires you to take a look at your passwords, update them if need be, and link them to one address, to avoid being locked out of any important systems after leaving.

This should not be mistaken for stealing the company’s secret. Ascertain that all you are packing; either soft or hard is permissible to avoid breaching your terms of employment and likely future litigation. Messing with the company’s secret is very risky and can even end up ruining your career.


  1. Figure out the Income Accrued to you and make a budget.

Inquire from the finance unit about all your entitlements; go through the figures so that if there are discrepancies you can seek clarification before requesting a withdrawal. Seek financial advice and payment options; it will help you make informed decisions.

If you are retiring or you don’t have a new job lined up, or if you will be earning less than you are making now, take time to create a monthly budget, and estimate how long your savings will last if the situation doesn’t change in a while.


  1. Update your Curricular Vitae and LinkedIn Profile.

Often at times, people find it difficult to update their curricular vitae and LinkedIn profiles when on a job. Your proposed exit should be an opportunity to capture all information that will project you positively. It is always easier to update these documents when you are making a job change and the details are fresh in your mind.

If you haven’t found a job yet, use the updated Curricular Vitae to explore existing job offers out there, because, at this point, your current job experience is an added advantage. And if you are retiring, the information on your LinkedIn can be instrumental in determining how much of your experience and expertise will be consulted from time to time.


  1. Plan a vacation.

After a couple of years on a job, you will deserve a vacation to rest and clear your head for the task ahead. Use the break to refresh so you can face new challenges free from the hang-over of your previous job. You may not be able to go on a vacation for financial or logical reasons. That being the case, you should take a few weeks off; just do nothing and relax, getting ready for the next face of life. Spend time with family and friends; get an informal feel of life, and you will be surprised how ready you will be for what is coming up next.



The points highlighted suggest that leaving a job is something that should be planned for well ahead of the time of actual departure, as negative actions within the transition period could have an adverse effect on your future endeavours. Therefore, all decisions at this point need to be strategic, wise, and most importantly professional.

Career Advice

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