Take these extra steps before you say goodbye
On your last day of work, something akin to senioritis sets in: you're so eager for what comes next that you probably aren't focusing too much on what's happening right in front of you. But it's important to make your last day of work a productive one ‒ not just to wrap things up, but to set yourself up for success in the future.
"Assuming you didn't have a horrible employee experience from day one, you owe it to your soon-to-be former employer to give them your best work right up until the end," says Heather Huhman, Generation Y career expert and founder of Come Recommended. "It's perfectly OK ‒ and even expected ‒ to be excited about your new opportunity, but you're still being paid until you walk out the door for the last time. Plus," she points out, "you never know when you might cross paths again, so it's best to go out on a positive note."
So before you punch out for the last time, here are six things to do on your last day of work.
1. Transfer your knowledge
Someone is stepping into your shoes. So before you leave, make sure you have a plan in place to pass along what you know to the new guy or gal, says Huhman. "One of the hardest parts about losing an employee is all the knowledge about the organisation and their role within it that they take with them," she points out. "Figuring out a way to capture and transfer this knowledge must obviously start before your last day, but don't leave without finalising it and letting someone else know how to access it."
2. Check auto-pays and passwords
If your former work gig came with an expense account, "make sure to connect with your team on which new card to use so that you don't get charged and they don't get left without the service if you cancel everything altogether," suggests millennial career expert Jill Jacinto. What's more, make sure you switch over any password-protected information to your boss.
3. Swap contact info
When you say goodbye to your co-workers and higher-ups, hand out your phone number and personal email address. "Actively seek out the people who matter to you and let them know how they can reach you moving forward," suggests Huhman. Bad at answering emails or returning calls? Then consider connecting on LinkedIn or other social media platforms, Huhman says. "I personally find it's easier to stay in touch with people on a large scale via Facebook over any other method," she admits.
4. Look at your expenses
You don't want to leave work with an outstanding bill ‒ especially one that is owed to you. So, Jacinto recommends that you "go over your bills to make sure you are paid up on your expenses. Is there a meal, a shipping cost, or a conference ticket you are still waiting on getting compensated for?" If so, "make your case before you leave and it's fresh in your mind," she says, and try to set up the payment before you go.
5. Request an exit interview
You've got your eye on the door. But taking the time for an exit interview before you split will help your former employer to understand how he or she can improve ‒ which can benefit your replacement. "Especially at smaller organisations, exit interviews are not always par for the course," says Huhman, so you will likely have to ask. "But it's important for the organisation's leaders to understand exactly why you are leaving and how they can improve the organisation and your former role moving forward."
6. Accomplish a goal
"Once you give your notice, set a goal for yourself to accomplish by your last day," suggests Huhman. "Perhaps even meet with your immediate supervisor to develop the goal together." Why would you do that, you might wonder? "This situation is a win-win," promises Huhman. "Your soon-to-be former employer will remember you fondly as an employee who gave their all until the end, and you will walk away accomplished" ‒ talk about ending on a high note!
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