Between well-wishers, last minute tasks and (hopefully!) a rocking going away party, your last day at work might be a flurry of activity. Don’t get so caught up in the melee that you forget to take care of business. Make a to-do list of things that have to be done before you clock out for good-- that way, you can make your rounds guilt free.
Start a Paper Trail
Pay a visit to the HR department on your last day before quitting. You’ll need to get a few things straight, such as your 401k options and information regarding your health benefits. Your company might also need you to complete an exit interview, or sign a “noncompetition clause” to keep you from blabbing top secret information about your old job, at your new job.You should ask to take a look at your personnel records, to make sure your resignation letter is on file and your contact information is correct.
In all the excitement of quitting, don’t underestimate the importance of the people you’re leaving behind. Ask your boss to write you a letter of recommendation to vouch for your fabulousness with future employers. As long as you’re leaving on good terms, your boss should be happy to do it. If she’s too busy, pretend you’re her and write it yourself. That way, all she has to do is read it and sign. Exchange contact information with your coworkers as well, to build a strong network of professional contacts. Establish a professional email just for networking purposes, if you don’t feel comfortable giving out your personal info.
Clear Your Desk
Tie up all your loose ends so you don’t leave a ton of work for your coworkers to handle. Even though you’re leaving, leave behind a reputation for being a team player, not deserter. If you’re in the middle of projects that can’t be wrapped up in a hurry, type up a status report for your boss, as well as for your replacement. You also might want to leave some notes about the what you’ve learned on the job, how you handle your assignments and which methods work best for you. There’s no reason your boss should have to start from scratch with someone new -- spread your knowledge around to make your transition as seamless and painless as possible.
On your way out of the door, send a heartfelt email to your coworkers and supervisors. Tell them how much you appreciate them, how much you’ve learned, and how much you’ll miss them everyday. Leave on a classy note that guarantees you’ll be thought of highly.
Oubria Tronshaw specializes in topics related to parenting and business. She received a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Chicago State University. She currently teaches English at Harper Community College in the Chicago area.