Turning in your resignation and setting your last day at a company can prove daunting, even if you’re excited to start a new position or move on with your life. With everything to consider, handling your resignation tactfully and taking care of your affairs before putting in your notice is vital to transitioning smoothly. Jill Wheeler, a financial expert and blogger at Five Senses of Living, offers five things to do before quitting your job.
Calculate your final paycheck
“Figure out how much money you will receive from your leftover PTO, vacation, and sick leave days,” Wheeler recommends. Knowing this amount will help as you budget for the transitional phase. If your last paycheck includes a larger sum than usual, you will want to keep track of the paperwork for your taxes, since depending on the amount, you may need to adjust them ahead of time. Working this out with a financial adviser will help you avoid any future headaches.
Sort out your 401(k)
Before quitting your job, decide what to do with your retirement funds. Look over your plan with your current employer, finding the rate of return, how much you have saved, and rollover instructions. “If you have already received a job offer from a new employer, I recommend rolling your money over to your new employer's 401(k) plan, assuming the fees aren't too high to switch,” says Wheeler.
“The reason for moving your money is to keep everything organized, as having it all of it in one place makes it easier to manage,” she adds. Whether you are rolling over the funds or opening another account, knowing your next move is crucial to keeping a handle on your long-term finances. Moving money can be a hassle, but making the transfer sooner than later will make the process less of a drain in the future.
Schedule doctor appointments
Healthcare coverage may take a moment to kick in when you switch jobs or lifestyles, so it's important to schedule checkups, as well as any annual dentist, eye doctor or gyno appointments, before leaving your company. Wheeler adds, “Verify that you have used all the medical benefits that are provided by your current employer before leaving. This is especially important if your current employer's medical plan is more robust than the one you will be moving to.”
Start transferring documents from your work devices
If you have any private documents in a file on your computer, email them to a personal address and save them to your home computer before quitting your job. Do this for any regular contacts or useful spreadsheets, too. Organizing these documents ahead of time guarantees that you won’t lose them in the transition. Also, your final two weeks may be hectic with little time to thoroughly sift through which documents you need.
The same goes for your company phone as well, adds Wheeler. “If you have important text messages, photos or notes, forward them to yourself for easy access,” she says. “After you have retrieved all the information you need on these devices, do a factory reset so your personal information is no longer accessible.”
Try not to burn bridges
Even if you are starting to check out mentally, keep your head in the game as much as possible. Make sure you have a transition plan in place for whoever will take your position and help the company that employed you move on as easily as possible. Sometimes this may require swallowing your pride, but keeping the reference is always worth it.
Wheeler adds, “It's a good idea to leave a nice letter thanking your fellow employees and your boss as well.” Leaving with grace and gratitude, even if you don’t want to, is a sign of maturity you can carry with you into your next chapter. Remember to say thank you for the opportunity, everything you learned, and anything the job did for your life.
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