How to Finish Well

AcctNerd's picture
Rank: King Kong | 1,390

I've been conspicuously absent from WSO for the last couple of weeks as I prepare for my transition from owning my own family office practice to my new VP role at a BB in PWM. (Wow...again...SO MANY ACRONYMS!)

I have had a very good reason for my absence and that it because I was finishing well with all of my current clients and transitioning them to their new service providers for day-to-day office items.

If there is one thing that will set you apart from most people is finishing well. Over and over I have seen people leave offices with projects not transitioned, vendors in limbo, half-done tasks with no instructions, etc.

This is a huge time waster and expense for a former employer and doesn't leave you in good standing. Here is my checklist for how you should handle leaving:

  • Transition all on going projects by making a personal introduction and transition. If you are unaware of who will be replacing you, make this introduction and transition to someone you know will be able to pass along the contact information after you leave.
  • Make a list of all current tasks that are in progress. Ideally you will wrap up current tasks, but sometimes this is not possible. Make a list of all the tasks, where to find the information, and where you are leaving the task.
  • Be sure to contact important vendors and transition them in the same way as your on going project participants.
  • Leave your personal contact information with key members of your team for clarification if needed.
  • Don't "check-out" the last couple of days. Be MORE engaged and MORE available for team members with last minute questions. Remember these are the people that have to take on more work when you leave and maintain that work until someone else is hired, trained, and brought up to speed.
  • Be extra courteous around the office as your work load has probably diminished toward the end of your notice period. Be available for questions, but don't hang around just chatting and being a distraction.

Above all remember that your now former coworkers are still your network and reference. Our choral director in college asked us one day, "Why do you think we spend a lot of time working on the first and last songs of our performance?" The answer: "People need a good beginning to continue to pay attention and they only remember the end. The beginning sets the tone for the performance and the ending is what they will talk about with their friends tomorrow. Everything in the middle somehow gets forgotten no matter how great it was."

Finishing well will be remembered much longer than anything else you did at the company. (Unless you were a complete moron.)

Comments (20)

May 30, 2014

Great post and 100% agree. You can't leave your team hanging in the end just because your mood is distracted. Have to play with full intensity on transition period to make it easy for both parties to leave in peace of mind, comfort and confidence. Thanks for the conscious reminder on this.

    • 1
May 30, 2014

You are welcome.

Best Response
May 30, 2014

Good post, although... I thought you were referring to something else in the title. Call it the effect of @"goldencinderblock"'s tinder post.

    • 3
May 31, 2014

ha. SB for you.

May 30, 2014

shit on debra's desk is which step?


Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

    • 2
Jun 5, 2014

right after fuck on debra's desk

Jun 2, 2014

I think it's ironic you chose a pic with an athlete who is the epitome of not finishing well. Maybe you did that on purpose?

Jun 7, 2014

I actually didn't choose the picture. I believe the admins add a pic when they front page an article.

Jun 2, 2014

Solid post of course.

Are you planning on keeping a relationship with old coworkers or will geography/something else rule that out?

Jun 2, 2014

*Assumes you enjoyed the people you worked with and may interact with them in the future

Jun 2, 2014

Great post as usual. Definitely agree with many points here. Burning bridges or leaving firms without being a consummate professional till the end might come back to haunt you in the future. Never know when you might have to work with those guys again.

Jun 3, 2014

SB. yes, never burn bridges.

Jun 4, 2014

Good one. Being extra approachable in the last week can make up for a lot

Jun 5, 2014

solid post. thanks!

Jun 7, 2014

Good post. This was mentioned indirectly, but I would give them some notice. Two weeks is standard and is what I did with my last job. Do not just leave one day, which is what my last superior did.

Jun 8, 2014

wow, another great post from you, thaaaaaanks!

Jun 8, 2014

@acctnerd if you don't mnind revealing, whats the pay range like for a VP. Just kinda curious, PM me if thats too sensitive..

Jun 8, 2014

I'd rather not say. One reason is because buying access to the company database is one way @"" makes enough money to host this lovely forum, and the other is because there are several threads around the forums that are pretty close to the right numbers at all of the banks I am aware of.

    • 1
Jun 8, 2014

Congrats on your new role @"AcctNerd" and great post my friend. Well said.

Jun 10, 2014