So, you’re ready to move on from your current job and tackle whatever comes next. Do you know what you need to do before you officially send in your two weeks’ notice and pack up your desk?
Many soon-to-be-former employees don’t, if we’re being honest. They assume that they can give their notice and figure the rest out along the way.
For a whole host of reasons that aren’t worth getting into here, this is a foolhardy assumption, even in a historically tight labor market. If you’re serious about leaving your current role, and especially if you’re planning to switch careers or seek out a more senior position, you need to make sure you have a plan in place before you make the leap.
Fortunately, getting that plan in place isn’t as difficult as you might think. Here’s how to go about it.
Don’t Burn Any Bridges
First and foremost, don’t burn any bridges on your way out the door. Even if you have no plans to speak to your bosses or colleagues again, those plans may change; you never know when you’ll need to call on an old associate for a reference or favor. One great way to ensure you leave no hard feelings behind is to go on a recommendation-writing spree for your colleagues.
Your CV (And Consider Adding a New Degree or Credential)
Make sure your CV is up to date. If you’re not jazzed about how it looks after all these years, consider adding a new degree or credential. Creative and technical degrees are in demand these days; look for a flexible education partner like The Centre for Arts and Technology in Kelowna, British Columbia.
Negotiate Severance Pay
You might not be a born negotiator, but that shouldn’t stop you from negotiating a severance package commensurate with your contributions. Tenure, performance, and seniority are important variables here; the longer you’ve been with the company, in particular, the more severance you can expect to receive.
Make Sure You’re Not Leaving Any Sensitive Information Behind
If you’re using your employer’s computing hardware, scrub all traces of your presence from it before you head out the door for the last time. Likewise, make sure you don’t have any sensitive employer information on your personal devices; this could be a major liability down the road.
Preserve Relevant Work Samples
You know you’re great at what you do, but can you prove it to future employers? Take pains to preserve relevant, representative work samples for posterity.
Make Sure Your Finances Can Endure the Layoff
Unless you have a new job lined up right away or you’ve negotiated an unusually generous severance package, you’re going to face a period of depressed (or nonexistent) earnings. Make sure your household’s emergency fund can absorb the hit; you should have at least three months’ expenses saved up already.
Are You Ready to Take the Next Step?
These aren’t the only six things you’ll need to do before officially saying goodbye to your current job and setting a course for whatever comes next. Nevertheless, you owe it to yourself to get them done expeditiously. Just be sure not to leave before you’re truly ready to take the next step. It’s better to wait until you’re absolutely ready than to make a decision that you’ll soon come to regret.