Are you chomping at the bit to leave your current position? Not so fast. There are some things that you need to do first.
Take note of this checklist before you head out the door:
1) Be discreet. Since you don’t want the word to get out that you plan to leave before you make your official announcement, don’t give anyone on the job clues that plan to go. Such clues can include searching for jobs on the company’s computer, making significant changes to your LinkedIn profile knowing that other employees are connected to you on that platform, taking time off during the middle of the day for interviews, and showing disinterest in projects coming down the pike. Engaging in these types of activities can be a tip off that you are on your way out of the door. If you plan to keep your departure a secret, you have to be discreet.
2) Get copies of all your performance appraisals. You are in the best position to obtain copies of all your old performance appraisals while you are still on the job. Once you leave, it can be awkward and sometimes next to impossible to get this information. Even if you already have another job lined up, it’s still best to get those performance appraisals. The reason for this is that your boss will usually outline your accomplishments for the year on the performance appraisal. It will make your task much, much easier when you have to write the resume if you have this data readily available. Otherwise, you will have to rely totally on memory, and you may not remember the specifics of projects that you worked on.
3) Obtain quantification for any major projects that you worked on. Again, this information is very useful for your resume. You may have worked on a multimillion dollar project, for example, but you probably would not remember the exact dollar amount three or four years later. Or you may have revamped some processes to increase organizational efficiency, but you don’t really know the percentage of time saved. This is information that you should obtain before leaving your current position.
4) Save work samples that are not proprietary. As they say, the proof is in the pudding. If you want to prove to employers that you will be a good hire, work samples are a good way to do that. Instead of simply stating that you are good at what you do, show them. Work samples will speak volumes about the quality of your work.
5) Clean your computer of any personal information. Many people have personal information on their work computers simply because they spend a lot of time at work, and they take care of some personal business at work. The problem with that though is once you leave work you no longer have access to that computer. So if you are one of those people who has a copy of your resume on your work computer or any other personal information, take steps to remove that data from your computer while you still can.
6) Settle all differences. While interacting with people at work, there are sometimes differences. These may be differences between you and your boss or differences between you and co-workers. Whatever the case, try to smooth things over before you leave. You certainly don’t want a misunderstanding between you and someone else at work to cast a long shadow over your career.
7) Prepare the way for a smooth transition. It is generally assumed that you will try to either train your replacement or at least leave easy to follow instructions for the person who will take your position. Without being obvious about it, you should put things in order and not leave things unresolved for the next person. By doing so, you will leave on good terms. If you ever have a need to return to this organization, you will be able to do so.