Finally you are saying goodbye to that dreadful job.
But before you leave, make sure that you undertake the necessary preparations for a graceful exit.
Here are 4 critical things which you must do before your last day, so as not to offend your boss or any of your colleagues.
You certainly don’t want any of them to haunt you later on.
1. Having a Proper Handover
It is true that nobody is indispensable and life in the company you resigned from will go on as normal.
But do remember that the work you previously did will still have to be continued, either in its entirety or in some other form.
So if you don’t want your ex-colleagues to haunt you after you leave, then you need to have a transition or handover plan.
If nothing else, it will showcase your professionalism and integrity (read positive impression), as you displayed initiative to handover your work like a responsible adult.
Now I know that it’s tempting to sweep things under the carpet so that the next hapless chap will have to deal with whatever time bombs you have left behind.
But by doing this, it will make your ex-colleagues hate you to the core, plus there may be long term adverse effects such as a black mark should future employers make any reference checks with the company.
In an ideal situation, the handover process should start about a few weeks to a month before you leave. You should find out who will be taking over or covering your duties during the transition.
Have a handover checklist and make sure the person whom you handed over to sign off on the form. Do make sure to tie up any loose ends in your work, but should that not prove feasible, at least highlight whatever is outstanding in your handover list.
Some companies may have handover procedures, so make it a point to check with HR to ensure that you leave with a clean slate.
2. Retain Your Network with Your Ex-Colleagues and Bosses
Do not discount or rule out the value of your ex-colleagues and ex-bosses.
They can serve as a good reference check. Let bygones be bygones. Even if there was any sourness in the relationship, make sure you have an amicable parting.
After all, how much more do you have to endure since you are already leaving? During your last days remember never to speak ill of your boss or your colleagues.
Even if your boss has been and continues to be abusive, my advice is to be diplomatic and just let it pass.
It is probably a good idea to have a farewell lunch with your colleagues on your last day and exchange contact details such as your private email.
You should write a nice email to express your thanks and gratitude to the people who have helped you and as a courtesy to inform that you are leaving.
It’s always good to make friends wherever you go or leave, for that matter.
3. Backing up Your Work with Care
We are living in the age of the “Knowledge Economy”.
By that token, most if not all our work will be in the form of knowledge capital and may be stored in a digitalized form such as computer files in the hard disk.
It will be a tragic loss if you lost access to your previous work. Be sure to retain all that knowledge in a thumbdrive before you leave.
It is definitely a good idea to start backing up all your working files well ahead of your last day.
This is a time-consuming process as you scan through all the work that you have done for the company previously.
Having said that, do take note of the sensitivity of intellectual property rights (IPR).
Some of the work you may have done may involve things which belong exclusively to the company such as technology or business tricks, so be sure to exercise your discretionary caution in copying and showcasing your previous work to future employers, otherwise you may end up with legal penalties instituted against you by your previous company for breach of trust and copyright infringement.
4. Reformatting Your Computer or Notebook
In any typical job, you would have made extensive use of your computer or notebook.
You probably sent out and received countless emails wrangling over an assignment, surfed the net for frivolous personal topics, used social media like Facebook on the sly and stored many other personal stuff in the hard disk.
So make sure to cover your tracks before you leave. By that it does not mean “delete” the files, because any computer geek will be able to tell you that whatever has been deleted can be un-deleted.
A wiser course of action is to reformat your hard disk.
Just make sure that you do not inadvertently wipe our any of the files which the company owns or requires, otherwise you will be in hot soup.
Many companies nowadays have shared network drives where you can post all your official files and materials, so make sure that it is properly posted there before you start the reformatting of your hard disk.