Exit Strategy

The career path of today’s worker involves job changes along the way. Promotions, family relocations, or a desire to go in a different direction all result in leaving one job to begin another. The feeling is exhilarating. At the same time, preparation for beginning a new path also means winding down the job being left.

The person exiting a position will need to perform quite a few tasks in a relatively short period of time. Brainstorming that list ahead of time is essential. This article provides some suggestions for what should be on the list.

Let your associates know where to find you:

  1. Look at your phone’s contacts. Identify the people who will need to know your new address, email, and phone number.
  2. Look at your pay stub for those who take payroll deductions and talk to your payroll department on how to make these transitions to your new employer.
  3. Think through journals, magazines, and other regular mailings which come to your business address which should now be mailed somewhere else.
  4. Decidehow your old school or office will determine what mail addressed to you needs to be forwarded and how the process of getting your mail to you will be handled.
  5. Talk to the IT department to determine if mail coming to your business address can automatically be forwarded to your new e-mail address.
  6. Compose a single-mail containing new contact information and send to everyone who will need it.

Let the world know where to find you:

Is there a web presence which should be updated with new contact information?

  1. Personal website or blog (including profile)
  2. Facebook page
  3. Twitter page
  4. LinkedIn page
  5. Webpages from other companies which make reference to you

Get ready to move:

  1. Make a list of what you own personally.
  2. Are there personal belongings you want to leave behind? Prepare a letter stating what you are donating. Save for tax purposes.
  3. Has anyone borrowed something of yours? Work on getting that stuff back now.
  4. Do you have anything that belongs to the school or office that you have at home or in your car? Make plans to return.
  5. Have you borrowed anything from a co-worker? Make plans to return.
  6. What electronic documents do you need to copy and take with you? Copy them to a flash drive.
  7. Copy your Outlook pst file to a flash drive. If you archive your Outlook data, copy the archived pst file to a flash drive. Install them on your new computer now if possible just to be sure your data is secure.

Erase personal information from your phones:

  1. Delete speed dials programmed into land line and business-issued smart phone.
  2. Delete any other information programmed in your land line or smart phone.
  3. Change your greeting to provide your new location to callers. Do this on both your land line and smart phone.
  4. Reset mailbox password to the default on the land line.
  5. Research how to delete all information in mass from your model. When you turn it over, it should be void of speed dials, contacts, pictures, mail messages, calendar events, tasks, voice mails

Erase personal information from your computer:

  1. Identify what information will be needed by others, organize it, and provide copies to the appropriate people.
  2. As stated earlier, copy information you will need to a flash drive. Be sure to copy your Outlook pst file and Outlook archives if you use that program.
  3. Log out of any cloud services (OneDrive, Dropbox, Google, Evernote).
  4. Wipe the entire hard drive clean before leaving. Use a program which overwrites every sector, in effect filling the entire hard drive with bits of information.

Get ready for a hectic final couple of days. Invariably, people who have had a month or more to ask you questions will wait until the last day to ask you to “make a list” of one thing or another or want to know where they can go to find certain information. It’s tough to handle what you need to do while filling those requests at the same time.

With a little luck and a lot of planning, the last day can be the stress-free, enjoyable experience that it should be.

What other suggestions do you have for those who are leaving a job? Leave a comment below.