Leaving a workplace could both be an exciting or a sad situation, depending on the circumstances, i.e. whether asked to leave or moving on of your own accord. However no matter what the reason, doing a few things during your notice period in the company will help ensure a smooth transition, save you a rushed last day, and help further in your career and personal relationships.
A month to go.
So you’ve just put down your papers and your notice period has started rolling. Now’s the time to start wrapping up your responsibilities, before you can think of redeeming your entitlements.
- Finish your deliverables: Ensure that you finish each of your deliverables or KPIs/KRAs well before your last day. It’s possible that you feel no motivation to do well at your current company as you’re leaving anyway, however, it’s a strength of personal character to bring things to a fruitful finish, and fulfill your responsibilities.
A week to go.
- Work on a transition document.
You must’ve spent enough time in the company to work on a number of projects, gain useful know-how in the process. There’s a certain way your job needs to be done and certain things that are required to be done in your job. Help make it easier for the next person who comes in your place to pick up where you left off. While they should not replicate your work completely, it will help them know the nitty gritty of the job, and they will of course be thankful to you for your kindness.
- Collect and back up your personal work:
If you’ve worked on any industry specific presentations, papers, etc. you can start collecting and saving them on your personal laptop. Same applies for your personal data like photos, music, movies, etc. However make sure you do not take with your any confidential company material, as not only is that illegal but highly unethical.
- Work towards your exit formalities:
Make sure that every point of contact in the HR team is aware of your imminent exit from the company. Prepare to hand in your assets and company property to ensure that you get your leaving letter in time. Make time to finish the exit interview, if given, properly. This is your last chance to let the company know what’s missing.
- Sort your dues out
While most good companies take care of this bit by default, at startups and other unorganized small companies, this process could be a tedious one. Let the HR and your payroll head about your move at least a week in advance so they can start working on your full and final settlement, and have it paid out ASAP.
- Make a record of your documents:
Once you’re out of the company’s official system you won’t be able to access a lot of corporate features. Ensure that you’ve downloaded your last few payslips, any certificates of appreciation done at the current company, and your provident fund details. These are some things that your next company will surely need, so best to not fumble when asked.
- Change your contact number well in advance:
It’s possible that you’ll be changing your number if your phone was provided by the current employer. If it’s registered on many services such as your bank and online accounts, it’ll be troublesome to change it after you’ve already stopped using it. Get a new SIM at this point and update on wherever you use. Ditto for your corporate email.
- Farewell email:
It’s considered common courtesy to send a farewell email to your team, or a selected few colleagues. Unless you can whip up a great email on the last minute, try working on it a few days before the last day. Remember to thank the key people who helped you in the company, recall a few highlights of your tenure in the company, and you can add a few interesting tidbits or jokes to bring character to your farewell email. If you’d like to keep in touch with your colleagues, do include your personal email address, social media links and/or your Linkedin profile link.
- Gifts and notes for your colleagues:
In an excitement about your new job, it’s easy to forget all about your existing managers, boss and colleagues but relationships can sometimes be far more important to maintain than titles or salaries. Be nice to your colleagues you’ve spent a chunk of your time with, and leave them if not thoughtfully curated gifts, a handwritten note.
- Start packing your stuff:
If you have tons of stuff your desk is decorated with, or your drawers at work are an extension of your wardrobe at home, start packing up gradually lest you realise you have no time to do it on your last day, and you find that you had to leave a ton of stuff back home.
Today’s your last day in the company and there’s a bittersweet feeling in the air.
- Hand over all your stuff
Ensure that you’ve handed in your transition documents, office ID card, desk keys, cards etc. and any other useful presentations, or research you’ve worked on to your boss/reporting authority.
- Take photos– No matter what note you’re ending the tenure on, take back the memories of an important juncture in your career, with photos at some select landmarks in the office, your desk and colleagues you care about. A selfie with the boss wouldn’t be bad either.
- Thank the people who made it worthwhile: It could be the office boy who brought you coffee everyday, or the security man who collected your packages. It’s easy to forget these people, but don’t.
- End on a positive, cheerful note: Most companies organise a formal farewell session for a departing member, cake is usually involved too. If asked to make a speech, do not shy away. Express what you’ve learnt in the company, key takeaways, thank the people who you think helped you, and at no point, badmouth the company or be negative. Let how you leave the company be a reflection of how you worked during it.
And finally if time permits, take your favourite colleagues, work friends and even your boss to a dinner or drinks. Make your last day at work one of your best and keep the memories of a great workplace intact.