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  • Writer's pictureRapid Talent

5 Essential Things You Should Do Before Leaving Any Job

Leaving a job is a significant decision that requires careful planning and preparation. Whether you're moving on to a new opportunity, pursuing further education, or simply seeking a change and the median amount of time that workers spend with each employer is about 4 years. So, for most of us, quitting one company and starting a new job is a fairly frequent occurrence. But what responsibilities do you have before you pack up your desk and head to your new adventure?

There are several essential steps you should take before bidding farewell to your current role and by following these actions, you can ensure a smooth transition and set yourself up for success in your next endeavor. In this blog post, we'll discuss the top five things you should do before leaving any job.

1. Reflect on Your Decision

Before you submit your resignation letter, take time to reflect on your decision. Assess your reasons for leaving and ensure they align with your long-term goals. Consider whether your current challenges can be resolved within your organization or if there are potential growth opportunities you might be missing. Reflecting on your decision will help you avoid making impulsive choices and give you confidence in your choice to move on.

2. Give Proper Notice

Once you've made your decision, it's essential to provide your employer with proper notice. Standard notice periods typically range from two to four weeks, but this can vary based on company policies and the nature of your role. Giving ample notice allows your employer to plan for your departure and ensures a smooth transition for your team and projects. It also leaves a positive impression and maintains your professional reputation.

3. Complete Your Responsibilities

As you prepare to leave, ensure that you complete your current responsibilities and projects. Make a list of tasks that need to be wrapped up or handed over to a colleague. This demonstrates your commitment to your team and the organization's success. Finishing your tasks also helps maintain a positive relationship with your colleagues and supervisors and ensures that your departure doesn't disrupt the workflow.

SUMMARIZE THE STATUS OF THE CURRENT TASKS Your job had a lot of responsibilities. There is always a transition period as a new person gets used to a role, and yet the projects you were working on have a timeline that gets put on hold as the new person settles into the job.

To ensure that things don’t fall too far behind, create a one-page status update on the key projects you were working on. This should involve:

  • A brief summary of the project

  • A statement of your role on the project

  • A description of how the project has been going that highlights any key problems and whether/how they have been resolved.

  • A list of key next steps and deadlines

4. Organize Your Files and Documentation

Before leaving, make sure to organize your work-related files and documentation. This includes saving important documents, emails, and project files in an accessible and organized manner.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that nobody knows the details of your job as well as you do. In order to ease the transition for a new person taking on your responsibilities, leave a clear list of key details about your job. This list should include:

  • Key contact information for important people you interact with in your role. If there is overlap between you and the new person, introduce them to key contacts by email or in person.

  • Any aspects of the job that may not be obvious, including shortcuts that will improve the efficiency of their work.

  • A list of tasks that need to be completed weekly, monthly, and yearly. The yearly task list can be particularly important because those issues often get forgotten, and then everyone has to scramble to complete them.

  • General notes on key people that are part of the team (including direct reports) to ease their process of working effectively. You don’t want to preempt the new person’s ability to get to know their colleagues, but short notes about who they are can be valuable.

By doing so, you ensure that your team or the person who takeover it can easily find and utilize the information they may need after you're gone. It's also a professional courtesy that showcases your attention to detail and consideration for your colleagues.

5. Network and Stay in Touch

Leaving a job doesn't mean cutting ties with your current employer and colleagues. Maintain your professional network by connecting on LinkedIn and exchanging contact information. Express gratitude to your coworkers and supervisors for the opportunities and experiences you've gained while working together. Staying in touch can lead to future collaborations, recommendations, or even potential job referrals.

Figure out how you can stay connected with your colleagues. Try to get a personal email address if they have one, or a preferred social media site, like LinkedIn. In the hectic weeks after you change jobs, find a time to reach out to your former colleagues to initiate the process of staying connected. The aim is to ensure that you don’t completely lose touch with people who were an important part of your life at the job you’re leaving. You will benefit from keeping these colleagues in your social network.

By reflecting on your decision, giving proper notice, completing your responsibilities, organizing your files, and maintaining professional relationships, you can ensure a smooth and positive transition. Remember that the way you leave a job can impact your professional reputation and future opportunities. Taking these essential steps will help you leave on a positive note and set the stage for success in your next chapter.

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