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 ain . (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.)