What exactly is the proper protocol for leaving your job? And is there anything you should be doing to prepare for your new one?
Although circumstances are always different, there are certain things that can help make any transition go more smoothly. Here are eight things you will need to do.
1. Get a written signed offer
While you may have received a verbal offer over the phone, you should still get a formal written offer—if you haven’t, check in with the company to see if one is coming. Similarly, you might have accepted the offer during a call or sent the hiring manager an email, but you will still need to sign a contract and/or other paperwork to make it official. Even though it is rare, things can still go wrong at this stage, and the formal job offer might not come through.
2. Then tell your manager.
You may be feeling a little nervous about telling your manager are leaving—and that’s understandable. But chances are, this is not the first resignation they have received. If your supervisor is supportive, they will want the best for your professional growth and will be happy for your new opportunity—even if that means you are changing companies. And if they are on the unprofessional / irritated side, then that only confirms you made the right decision! Whatever the case, though, you will still want to give your manager the professional courtesy of telling them first. As much as you want to tell your best office buddies the news, save your excitement until your boss hears it directly from you and you find out how they want to handle the announcement.
3. Formally resign
Once you give your notice, there may be a lot of paperwork coming your way. If your current company needs an official letter of resignation, be sure to send that off promptly. You may want to check out the transition steps needed prior to joining your new employer.
4. Create a transition plan.
Your manager has enough on his/her plate without having to worry about how your duties will be taken care of once you are gone. So the best thing you can do to leave on great terms is to be proactive and give them more specifics on how exactly you will transition your day-to-day responsibilities. Set up a meeting and discuss your ideas on who would best be suited to take over in the interim, and then give a specific schedule for bringing these people up to speed. You also might want to create a handover document that outlines what your job duties are and how to do them, and make sure that any needed logins, documents (with permissions), or contact info gets to the right people.
5. Make sure you have everything you need from your old job.
Not only do you need to gather any personal items you may have left at the office —you need to make sure you have anything that only exists in your digital workspace as well. This means contact information for people you want to keep in touch with, personal files that ended up on your work computer or email, copies of any benefits documents that went to your work email, and praise for successes in this job that you want to be able to refer to in the future. You might want to gather all the information you need from your computer and inbox before you tell anyone you are quitting, especially if you know your organization has a history of shutting down people’s accounts as soon as they give notice or asking them to pack up and leave without working through their notice period. Ensure that you do not take any company belongings or confidential data that rightfully belongs to the the company.
6. Connect with your new employer.
Even after you have signed the job offer and decided on a start date, you should still expect to stay in contact with your new employer during the transition time. There may be things that require your immediate attention—for example, background check or paperwork from HR. No matter what your new employer needs, get it handled as soon as possible.
7. Reach out to your new manager.
HR or the talent acquisition team at your new company will likely be the ones sending you the logistical details for your new role, but if you really want to impress, you can also email your new manager and ask if there is anything you can do before you start to help get yourself up to speed.
8. Enjoy any time off between jobs!
If you are taking a break before starting your new job—even if it is just a day or two—use that time to your advantage. Most importantly, try to organize your life a bit. You are going to be busy learning a lot of new things, so the last thing you will want to worry about is unattended home or personal issues. If you managed to negotiate a longer break time between jobs, I would also suggest doing things you cannot normally do during the workday like playing some tennis, catching a movie, visiting an event, or treat yourself to that massage or beach day while you can. You will be relaxed, rejuvenated, organized, and ready to start that new adventure.