So you’ve finally done it. You suffered through the modern application process at great frustration, sat for several interviews, and finally have an offer on the table for a great new gig. Congrats! Time to sign the dotted line and move on to the next chapter!
While you may not care too much about your current position at this stage, there are some good practices to uphold when transitioning from one job to another. It’s important to respect both your current and future employers, the teams you work with, and yourself when making a move. These tips can shed some light on great ways to take the leap and maintain professional integrity.
Two Weeks Notice - Obvious? Yes. Misunderstood? Definitely. As a general rule, it’s always a good idea to give your current employer notice that you plan on taking a new role. “No money to be made in the business of burning bridges” my father used to remind me. However, every company is different. Some are very deliberate about their off-boarding process, and will require you to remain in their employ for the full two weeks and assigning transition work for you to help backfill your old role. Others can be very lenient, and use the two weeks notice process as more of a formality than anything else. So while I counsel all clients to give notice, what you are actually expected to do those remaining two weeks can vary drastically, even to the point of ushering you to the door immediately after providing notice (if that’s the case...you likely are making a good choice to leave) so just be prepared. Which brings us to my next point…
Documenting Your Duties - Even if you reported to Stalin himself and can’t stand working in your current environment for one more second, I would encourage you to leverage your office stress ball and ensure a seamless transition for the person who will fill your role, even if you don’t know that individual. Think about that person coming into their new position and immediately feeling positioned to fail...did they do anything to deserve that? Make sure you spend the time to outline:
Specific Duties by Day / Week - Create a spreadsheet of your specific duties and process ownerships to enable your next person to succeed.
Processes - Nothing is worse than knowing your duties but not knowing how to execute them. Make sure your backfill can see not only the “what," but the “how” of your old position.
Files - Fortunately in 2017, you can find most legacy information on corporate Google Drive or OneDrive (spare me) accounts, but make sure you take appropriate time to provide easy access to files solely in your possession. So housing useful templates under 62 different files is an example of what NOT to do.
Your Metrics and Successes - Easily the most neglected piece of any transition is to make sure you are taken care of and well-positioned for future success. This is especially useful when you are between jobs, but is a good practice for anyone. No company provides an exiting employee a kit full of your best successes, top metrics, and testimonials regarding your stellar attitude. You have to compile them yourself, and doing so is not always easy. Regardless, I would encourage you to take the time (maybe during your two weeks notice period) to review your KPIs and how you matched up to them, seek feedback from colleagues, and even keep deliverables you made to store in your professional holster. At the end of the day, ensuring your value at a company is documented lies solely with you, so make it count.
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