How to leave a job

I’m in the last few days of my current role before I embark on a new adventure, and it has made me realise how strange a time it is when you leave a job. You’re excited about your new opportunity, but sad to leave the people you’ve got to know over the last however many years.

After reading my mammoth handover notes, my current boss said I should blog about how to leave a job. So, here it is. My top tips are:

  1. Make sure you know your notice period
    This one is key and something you should probably check out before you even submit the job application as you will be asked at interview.
  2. Talk to your boss before anyone else
    Yes you’re leaving, BUT in this industry it’s highly likely you’ll come into contact with colleagues again (I’ve worked with colleagues from all of my previous roles in my current role). You need to leave in good favour with colleagues…
  3. Suggest what could be done with your role when you leave
    Just like the point above, this is all about leaving in a positive way. If you have ideas on changes that could be implemented within your role share this with your boss. Even if they don’t use this, it shows that that you’ve considered what you’re leaving behind and how you will support them as you leave.
  4. Take time to tell the people you want first before letting people talk about it in the office
    Rumours spread very quickly in offices. If there are people you’ve worked very closely with make sure you let your team/boss/colleagues know you don’t want them to talk about you leaving until you’ve managed to tell the other people.

  5. Start passing over meetings to colleagues (along with notes)
    Depending how long your notice period is, you will need to start handing over work, projects and meetings to other people. This gives them time to ask you questions before you go, and helps you have a smooth, stress-free exit.
  6. Block out time for handover meetings
    This is really important – make sure you don’t leave this until that last day either. We all process information at different speeds, so your colleagues may have questions the next day and it’s helpful if you’re there too.

  7. Handover notes
    This is my favourite one – the handover notes. This time, my notes even included a contents page! Yes there was a lot of information, but it’s key info for everyone about items that I deal with at set times of the year, and, importantly, who else knows about them. While you’ll definitely be thinking of the short term work you have, it’s worth considering the entire year and making a few notes on each area so those taking on the work know what to expect. The contents page isn’t a must, but is helpful for finding items through the pages (and my inner geek just loves that tool).
  8. Leaving drinks – a must!
    I couldn’t end a top tips without including leaving drinks. Yes it’s part and parcel of leaving, but it also gives you a chance to say bye to those people you’ve got to know over your time at the organisation. And it’s fun (well mostly!).

Share you top tips with me below in the comments.

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