What should you do on your last day of work?
Take these steps to show people a little gratitude and tie up loose ends.
Your last day of work is just as important as your first. By leaving on good terms, you’ll cement the work relationships that you’ve built since you started, which can go a long way if you need your manager's or a co-worker’s buy-in for future job searches.
Also, you never know where you career path will take you—there’s always a chance you could wind up back at your employer somewhere down the road. Take these steps on your last day of work to part ways gracefully.
Deliver handwritten thank-you letters
Now is the time to show people a little gratitude. Writing thank-you notes to the folks who helped you succeed—i.e., your boss, your mentor, the co-worker you could always rely on in a pinch—is a heartfelt way of expressing appreciation.
To your manager, you might write: “I want to let you know how much I appreciate your guidance and support over the past few years. Thank you for everything! I hope our paths cross again.”
To your co-worker: “I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for your support. I could not have finished that project without you—you were a lifesaver! Many thanks.”
Tie up any loose ends
If you’re working on any assignments or projects that are going passed on to your replacement or co-workers, create a list of what needs to get done, ideally before your last day of work. Put the steps in chronological order.
If your replacement has already started, sit down with the person and bring her up to speed personally. Want to go the extra mile? Let her know you’ll be available if she has any questions in the coming weeks.
Ask your boss for feedback
If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to discuss your overall performance with your manager. Let your boss know in advance what topics you’d like to discuss to solicit valuable feedback. For example, if you delivered a big pitch to a client this year, how can you improve your communication skills?
Constructive criticism can be hard to hear, but by identifying areas for improvement you can work on bolstering those skills at your next job.
Save your contacts
In addition to connecting with co-workers on social media, make sure to collect everyone’s contact information, including clients. Having phone numbers and email addresses of people in your network will help you stay in touch. (Pro tip: Check in with any key players and work friends at least twice a year to keep your relationships warm—you never know when you’re going to need a reference.)
If you use Outlook you can speed up this process by exporting contacts to an Excel spreadsheet. (Microsoft provides instructions.)
Wipe your computer
You want to leave a clean digital slate when you walk out the door. So save to a USB drive, Dropbox account, external hard drive, or cloud any documents that you may need in the future. Then clear your browser history and wipe your hard drive so you there’s no trace of your personal information. (It’s like you were never there!)
Send a farewell email
Farewells are never easy, but sending email to your whole office is an effective way of letting everyone know you’re leaving, while also conveying gratitude. A crisp, short email will do the trick. In addition to mentioning a couple highlights from your time at the company, include your contact information and invite people to add you on social media by providing links to your accounts.
Make a splash at your new job
If your last day of work feels bittersweet, you know you did a great job. Looking ahead, remember that you only get one chance to make a good first impression—so make it count. Need a little help starting your new job on the right foot? Join Monster for free today. As a member, you’ll get career advice, job search tips, and industry insights sent straight to your inbox. It’s a great way to wow your boss and start building relationships with your new co-workers.