Your Checklist Before Leaving a Job: Part 1

​Whether you’re a consultant wrapping up your current assignment or a full-time employee leaving your role, there are several ...

​Whether you’re a consultant wrapping up your current assignment or a full-time employee leaving your role, there are several steps you should take before your last day.

Not only will these help you leave a great impression, they’ll also strengthen your network. You never know when you’ll want to reconnect with a former manager or ask an old coworker for a favor—or when they’ll need your help.

1. Send a “Goodbye” Email

After you leave, your employer will retire your work email address. That means you’ll lose an easy way to stay in touch with everyone who doesn’t have your personal email or cell.

To avoid this, send a goodbye email to your department. If that includes more than 30 people, consider just sending an email to your immediate team or the people you worked closely with.

The message should say something along the lines of:

Hi all,

Thanks so much for the opportunity to work together over the past (X months/years). It’s been wonderful.

I move on to my new role at (company) doing (ABC role) on (date). Until then, please stop by my desk to say goodbye. And if you need to reach me for any reason, here’s my personal email address: [email protected]

Best wishes,
Jane Doe

2. Request Your Colleagues on LinkedIn

Along similar lines, send LinkedIn requests to everyone in the office (that you haven’t already). This might sound obvious, but many people forget to connect with their coworkers—and when the time comes that they want to send a request to someone their former coworker knows, they can’t capitalize on that valuable mutual contact.

If you want to speed up this process, sync your work email with your LinkedIn account. LinkedIn will automatically find every coworker on the platform with whom you’re not connected.

Try to personalize each request; it doesn’t take that long, and it reinforces your relationship. I recommend something like:

Hi (name), it’s been a pleasure to work with you—I learned a lot from you around (subject). Let’s connect here so I can stay up-to-date on your great work.

3. Write a Thank-You Letter to Your Boss

One of the best ways to ensure you leave on a good note? Write a thank-you note to your manager. This demonstrates true professionalism and grace, but, more importantly, it proves you recognize their hard work and support!

While the details will be unique to your situation, consider including:

  • The most important lessons, skills, and/or strategies they taught you

  • A rewarding experience you shared (for example, finishing a challenging project, breaking an internal record, taking a fun team trip)

  • How you’ll apply their insights going forward

  • The words “thank you”

Whether you had the best relationship with your supervisor or not, this is a must-do.

Stay tuned for the second part in this series.