Leaving an Employer Checklist

I recently got an offer for a new job, leaving my current job of twenty-one years. I’ve had to start looking at what I need to shut down, remove, and transfer for the new job. I thought it would be worth sharing.


A few assumptions in this task list that are unique to me. They may not be applicable in all circumstances. You’ll need to adjust your list accordingly.

  • You are leaving on good terms with your employer.
  • You are allowed the two weeks after you give notice. Some companies, depending on the role, workload, etc., may thank the departing employee for their years of service, but ask them to leave the day they provide notice.
  • Your work-related contacts and calendar are kept in a company system (Outlook, etc.).
  • You have some ability to manage software or web sites on your work computer (“WorkTop”).
  • You maintain your own paper notebook.

Day 1

  • Submit Your Resignation
    • Include your supervisor and HR
    • Discuss how this should be communicated
    • Define your last day
  • Block out Your Calendar After the Last Day
    • I did it for a year.
    • This should limit how many meetings your colleagues try to put on your calendar.
  • Cancel Any Training or Travel
    • This sets expectations with the stakeholders, and limits the expense and exposure of your current employer.

Days 2-13

This is the two-week period leading up to your last day.

For the Old Job

  • Work with Supervisor on Transition and Communication Plan
    • Confirm who should communicate to whom, and when.
    • Confirm who will take over your duties.
  • Move Personal Files from WorkTop
  • Paper Documentation
    • Personal Notes Locate and shred
    • Work Documentation, including manuals, pamphlets, etc. * Something you can keep (such as a Gartner Strengths Finder)–take home
      • Relevant to Your Successor–hand it off
      • Neither (such as an employee manual)–shred
  • Inform Any External Contacts of Your Departure
  • Remove personal items from office
  • Identify Company Equipment in Your Care
    • Confirm what is expected–do they need headsets? Locks? Bags?
    • Correct any errors
    • Locate the equipment
  • Final time report

Official (and Unofficial) HR Actions

  • Understand Last Paycheck Timing
    • Does this include any PTO payout?
  • Understand 401(K)
    • Generally can be rolled to an IRA–set one up if required.
    • How do I get in?
  • Understand Employee Stock Plan
    • Does it stya with me?
    • How do I get in after I leave?
  • Insurance
    • Good until end of month of departure
    • Set something up for after
    • How do I get in after I leave?
  • Exit Interview
    • Think about what you want to say
    • Be honest, but don’t burn bridges
  • Capture Personal Information
    • Includes compensation info, performance feedback, etc.

Staying in Touch

  • Capture Contacts in Work System You Want to Retain
    • Coworkers you want to stay in touch with
  • Update Connections/Friends in LinkedIn, Facebook
    • Any colleagues who you aren’t connected with? Want to be in touch with socially?

For the New Job

  • Locate Identify and “Legal Right to Work” (LRW) Documents
    • I’m writing this from the perspective of a US Citizen–adapt as appropriate.
    • US Passport (Identity and LRW)
    • Driver’s License (Identity)
    • Social Security Card (LRW)
  • Documentation for Direct Deposit
    • Usually just a check
  • Understand First Day
  • When and where to show up
    • Who to ask for
    • Dress code
    • What to bring

Day 14–the Last Day

  • Remove Any Cloud Storage from WorkTop
    • Uninstall the app
    • Delete any files
  • Wipe WorkTop Browser History and Cookies
  • Check WorkTop User Directory (c:\users\<USERNAME>)
    • Any personal stuff in there?
  • Clean Phone
    • Remove any email and calendars
    • Remove any corporate apps
    • Remove any security profile
    • Reboot phone
  • Say Goodbye
    • Goodbye Note
    • Any friends in the office
    • Places you are a “regular” at
  • Turn In Company Property
    • WorkTop, charger, and lock
    • Mouse (if applicable)
    • Headset (if applicable)
    • Badge

After Leaving

  • Start a Password Reset of Personal Accounts
    • On the off chance something still lingers on your WorkTop
  • Update Resume
  • Update LinkedIn