The Artful Transition: Things To Do When Leaving Your Job

Dustin Hall |

During the pandemic, maybe you lost your job. Maybe you were one of the last people left standing on your team and took on the jobs of two or three other people, and you just can’t take it anymore. Maybe you just want to find a job you’re passionate about.

Whatever the case, in this near post-pandemic world we’re stepping into, The Wall Street Journal recently reported that people are leaving jobs at the highest levels in two decades.

As you examine what a post-pandemic lifestyle looks like to you, you might be considering joining the ranks of people finding a job better suited to their skills or passions.

It’s important to leave your job in a tactful way so that you don’t burn bridges and are able to keep your network strong.

If you’re still weighing the decision, here’s a checklist to consider:

  1. Examine the pros and cons. The first thing to do is a write a list of the pros and cons. Maybe you have a long tenure at your current company and you like the benefits: pro. But maybe you hate the office environment and your manager is insisting you go back to the office now: con. Taking a tactical approach to weighing whether the pros outweigh the cons is always a valuable first step in decision-making.
  2. Determine your timeline. You’ve decided you’re going to quit. The next thing to do is determine your timeline. Are you willing to give your soon-to-be former employer some time beyond the standard two weeks to help with the transition? (A good idea to create goodwill.) If you have another job offer, is your soon-to-be new employer amenable to a later start date? (Be sure to sharpen your negotiation skills and get comfortable asking for what you want.) Identify the timeline and game plan, then draft a letter of resignation. Your timeline should be included in the letter of resignation. For example, if you’re only going to give the standard two weeks, then include that in your letter.
  3. Set a meeting with the boss. The Balance Careers reported that it’s best to talk to the boss before formally submitting a letter of resignation. Set a meeting with your supervisor, but have the letter on hand to give to them during this meeting. Expressing gratitude is must. Consider telling your boss you’re grateful for the opportunities and for all you’ve learned and accomplished in this position.
  4. Develop a transition plan and training materials. Offer to train your replacement in your remaining time. If they haven’t hired your replacement prior to your departure, ensure you put together transition documents that explain your tasks.
  5. Determine benefit and pay logistics. Schedule some time with your HR and payroll department prior to your departure to talk about when you’re going to get your last paycheck, when your medical benefits expire and about your unused paid time off and vacation time. Talk to your financial professional about all of the options for your 401(k) or pension. Also, if you have a job offer from another company and they’ve given you a benefits package to consider, let your advisor have a look and help you determine the best benefits for your situation.
  6. Write and solicit recommendations. Write your teammates letters of recommendation on LinkedIn. Ask them to do the same for you. If you’re looking for formal letters instead, ask for that. Ensure anybody you’re listing as a reference knows this and is OK with it.
  7. Send the goodbye email. So the two weeks have passed and you’re wrapping everything up. Some companies turn off your email access right at closing time on your last day. Make a note on your calendar an hour before that to send a goodbye email to your colleagues. Make it polite and, if you want, offer your personal email for those who want to stay in touch. You can also encourage them to connect with you on LinkedIn if you aren’t already connected.
  8. Stay positive. Lastly, stay positive about your company and your former colleagues. Did you like everybody? Probably not, but it only makes you look bad when you badmouth people, so steer clear of that. Remember, networking is all about building your network, so don’t do something that could destroy part of it.

We wish you a happy and artful transition. Let us know how we can help.


Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC.

This material was prepared by Carson Coaching. Carson Coaching is not affiliated with the named broker/dealer or firm.