This past month, I transitioned out of a company that I founded and ran for the past seven years. To say that the decision was a difficult one is an understatement, but knowing that I was leaving it in the hands of capable people, and that I took the time to make sure the transition went well, made the move easier. Below are a few tips for how to leave a job well.
You may not have much time to prepare for a transition, but if you are able to take the time it will be worth it. Every single moment before you leave counts. Make a list of everything that needs to be done before you leave and then prioritize it. Don’t get caught up in the micromanaging of the future, but instead prepare for the now and identify what tasks need to be accomplished.
This is by far the most important tip for leaving well. Make a list of every person that needs to have a personal conversation with you about the transition. Make sure to include your top stakeholders (sponsors/donors). Not only will this be beneficial for you in the future, but it also sets the company up for success. The worst thing that can happen in a transition is for people to start jumping ship when the leader and/or their contact leaves. Good communication prevents this from happening.
3. Allow Yourself Time to Feel and Release
If you are a leaving a job that you love and have poured a large portion of your life into, you need to take time to work through the emotions. Allow yourself a few days, even a few weeks, before you start your new position so that you can fully release your past position.
Above all, give yourself grace. Leaving a job well is not easy to do, but if you prepare, communicate, and allow yourself time to feel and release the past, you will be able to step into a successful future.