Here comes 2015. You know this is going to be your year. As such, you may also know that you’re going to leave your current job for an incredible new one.
So, let’s get you prepared to make that transition graceful and smooth, shall we? Here are six important things to do before you quit:
1. Make Those Last Doctor and Dentist Appointments
Do you have unused medical privileges that you’ll be walking away from? Or, are your old benefits more robust than your new ones will probably be? If so, consider booking your last checkups and appointments while still covered on your current employer’s plan. (Just try not to book them all across company time, especially if you’re not yet ready for them to be “onto you.”)
2. Give Your Laptop and Phone a Proper Goodbye
You know how you’ve kind of adopted your company-provided equipment as “yours?” Right. Now is the time to digest the fact that you aren’t, in fact, the owner of said equipment. More than likely, your employer is going to review all of the files on that computer and contacts on the phone, scrub them, and hand them out to someone else.
Given this, it’s critical that you copy all of the personal files that you need and delete the ones you don’t. Do this before the company gets any whiff of your pending departure. The last thing you want is to be kindly asked to fork it all over before you’ve gotten the goods. Also note—I’m insisting you take your personal files. Company proprietary files? No. These are not yours, hot fingers.
3. Make Things Easy on Your Successor
Even if you’ve been working in a House of Misery, it’s just plain jerkish to leave a bunch of loose ends or tangled messes. In your last weeks on the job, make every effort to get things organized and prepared for whomever is going to pick up where you left off. Take good meeting notes, save your files in an easy-to-understand manner, and generally approach your work with the mindset that someone else is going to have to do it very soon. Also, if possible, offer to help select and train your successor.
4. Figure Out How to Move Money
Financial planning can be confusing under the best of circumstances. Don’t let this critical matter fall through the cracks as you make a job transition. If you have a 401(k) or other money coming back to you as you part ways, understand how the payout or transition needs to work, before you goof anything vital up. And then manage the moolah transition right along with yours.
5. Commit to (Politely) Declining Any Counteroffers
In 10 years of recruiting, I’ve seen very few examples of success among those who attempted to resign from a job but decided at the last minute to accept a counteroffer that arose. Even though they can be ridiculously enticing, realize that many employers toss out counteroffers in a panic, because they realize the short-term impact of losing you could be great. But what happens in the process is that you become forever known as a flight risk and, once the short-term panic is over, your manager could be resentful that you forced his hand on this.
Also, you could be resentful when you ponder how it took the threat of leaving for anyone to recognize your contributions.
6. Don’t Ever Go Out in a Blaze of Glory
I’ve counseled dozens and dozens of people who really, truly want to leave an employer in a grand, dramatic, take-no-prisoners fashion. A few have even concocted elaborate plans on how they can make their employers feel the most burn as they waltz out the doors in a blaze of glory.
Don’t ever do this. No matter how much your boss, colleagues, or (soon-to-be-former) clients deserve it. Keep your grace and poise intact as you depart, always. You never know where these people will turn up next in your life. Also, you’ll ultimately get even more satisfaction out of showing them how great your career and life is after leaving that joint.
It’s a new year, and this is always the most inspiring time to make big moves to improve your career or life. If you’re going to be among those who make great leaps in 2015, make sure they’re pirouettes, not belly flops.