Home Career Checklist Before Leaving your Career

Checklist Before Leaving your Career

by Bethany

Moving. Career Change. Having a baby. Illness. Burn Out. Mini Retirement. These are a few of the may reasons people move on from a job or career. 

If you are like me and have decided to resign from your current position, you need to get a few things in order so you can leave gracefully and on good terms. How you leave makes a difference and you do not want to burn any bridges unnecessarily. You may need letters of reference or you may decide to return at a later date, so let’s keep it classy and polished. 

Have a Plan before You Leave:

Before leaving it is always good to have a plan in place for what you are going to do. For how to change careers successfully check this article out first

Give Notice: 

First things first, you need to give notice to your employer. This needs to be offcial notice in the form of a letter or piece of paper. For some companies, you will first meet with your boss, then hand the notice to HR. Make sure you do so tactfully and have a specific date in mind if it is possible. If you are on contract you must still tender your resignation as many contracts are set to renew or there is an expectation of signing on again.

How to Leave your Career with Grace

– Write thank you letters to those who have helped your career or impacted your everyday life at work in a positive way. 

– Return any equipment you have checked out. Don’t forget the laptop, chargers, and stapler. 

– Leave a note for the next person who is to follow you. Give them some helpful tips for the job.

– Leave training notes or handouts for the next person as well. If they cannot be there for you to train them, label things clearly so they can find it easily. 

– Offer to help train the next “you” is possible. Making sure the transitions runs smoothly ensures you care and are not leaving things in shambles. 

How to Leave your Career with Finances in Order

– Cash out sick time or paid time off. Your company may have a specific date this needs to be completed by in order to be fully reimbursed. Call HR to check in about this. 

– Roll Over your Retirement when you leave. You may not need to roll over your plan right away, but you should know how to access your account online and what your options are for moving your retirement plan if you need to. Women Who Money covers exactly what to do with an old 401k here

– Get specific dates for when your healthcare ends. If you get sick or need to head to the emergency room you need to know when you are covered. If you are on a contract it may be that your health care will last till the end of the year. You will also need to get coverage in as soon as you healthcare ends. Make sure your vaccinations and birth control are good to go before your health benefits time out. 

How to Prepare for the Next Journey in your Career

-Save work samples to your personal drive. Anything that is not company sensitive or copyrighted save to your drive to reference later on. Keeping work samples may be something you need as you continue to interview.

-Update your resume before you leave the workplace. This can help you stay current with what you accomplished and help jog your memeory for things you completed at your job. 

-Ask for letters of reference from your supervisor, boss, collegues, etc. Make sure to specify what direction they should go with the letter, especially if you are changing fields.

Final Thoughts: 

A lareg part of changing careers is leaving. Once the decision is made, it must be done so gracefully. While Hollywood may have enticing ways of throwing up your hands and walking out, never to look back, this will not benefit you for more than 10 minutes afterward. 

Job changes and career shifts can be stressful because of change. They can also be stressful because of the shame or guilt of being a “quitter”. I know this feeling well. This doen’t mean you shouldn’t continue on. You are braving a new path, and that is awesome. Do what is best for you. Take the opportunity you were given. I am here to cheer you on!

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