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How to Hand Over When Leaving a Job

Moving to a new organization, changing to a new department or being promoted can be a very exciting experience. However, before leaving your current job, there are several things you need to do to make life easier for those being left behind. Here are some tips for leaving gracefully when making a transition to a new job:

Saying goodbye

When you work at an organization for a significant amount of time, you are likely to build strong relationships with your colleagues. You might even consider them family. Saying goodbye to such people is usually not easy. Whatever you do, make sure you don’t say anything which will leave a bad taste. The following are some tips for saying goodbye with tact and grace:

Say ‘thank you’

Take time to thank the people that have made your work easier. Be specific and let each person know why exactly you appreciate them. You could even consider sending some ‘thank you’ cards or gifts.

Don’t boast

Don’t make the mistake of bragging to your colleagues about your new job. In addition, avoid the temptation of talking negatively about the company or job you are leaving. Such utterances are only likely to leave a bad taste in the mouths of your colleagues. Remember that you are leaving but they are staying behind. Therefore, let your words be gracious.

Don’t talk negatively about anyone

When transitioning to a new job, don’t use it as an opportunity to say bad things about other people. Changing jobs does not imply that you will never encounter these individuals again. Therefore, it would be advisable not to make enemies when leaving your job.       


Depending on the circumstances, you might have a few days or weeks to prepare for your transition. Make the most of this time to ensure that everything is in order. This will make it easier for your colleagues to adjust to the change. Here are some of the things you should do before leaving:

Wind up your projects

Though it might not be possible to finish every project before leaving, make sure you do as much as you can. This way, your replacement will be able to take over more smoothly.

Prepare a report

Be sure to write a detailed report for the person who will be taking your place. It should contain information such as the list of your clients, recently completed tasks, unfinished tasks and future projects.

Offer training

Where possible, take time to train your replacement. This will help them fit into their role more quickly. If they have not been hired, you could brief the person who will occupy the role temporarily.

Provide ‘insider’ tips

Share with your replacement any ‘tricks’ you have learnt over time that have made your work easier. For instance, if you are a web designer, let them know where they can get the best web templates.

Carry copies of documents

After preparing important documents for your replacement, be sure make an electronic copy for yourself. If they happen to misplace their copies, you can easily share yours with them.

Update major business associates

Inform all your suppliers, clients and other business associates that you are leaving your job. In addition, let them know who will be in charge after you are gone. This way, they will not be frustrated while trying to contact you.

Changing jobs can be very stressful. However, applying the above tips will help you leave a good impression and make things easier for your team.


Image: iStock

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