If you have been keeping up with the blog you already know that I am moving (see my blog about my upcoming move here). It’s officially my last week in Miami and along with packing up my apartment (who wants to help), I am in the process of wrapping things up in order to successfully complete my postdoctoral fellowship. As a result, I have been thinking a lot about the importance of leaving an outstanding last impression.
Everyone always talks about the importance of first impressions. Don’t get me wrong, they are important and I will definitely be talking about them in a future blog. However, last impressions are equally important. As a Legend it is inevitable that you will have several positions, business relationships, contracts, and/or jobs that come to an end. In fact, a recent Forbes article suggests that making several major career moves may be the new norm for the Millennial Generation. Therefore, in order to ensure that you are leaving a strong mark, it is vital that you learn to say good bye and move on gracefully.
As I wrap things up on my end, here are some of my tips on how to leave like a Legend.
Grind it out until the VERY End/ Finish All Outstanding Tasks
Over the past few days, I have been putting in some extra hours to make sure that all my documentation, projects, and additional responsibilities are complete. In addition, I have made it a point to attend and contribute to all scheduled meetings and sessions. Although it makes for a busy week, I know that my efforts send a strong message about my work ethic and commitment to my work.
The end is not the time to slack on any projects that you are working on, or a time to ease up on your responsibilities. The end is actually a time to show that you value your position and take pride in your work by working harder.
Ask for Letters of Recommendation
A few weeks ago, I asked my supervisors to write me letters of recommendation. This way they were able to reflect and provide feedback about my contributions to the team while I was still fresh in their minds.
If you have a good relationship with the people who have worked with, ask for a few letters of recommendation. Not only do these letters give the writer time to reflect on your awesomeness before you leave, they can be useful in the future as you continue to navigate your career.
Say Thank You
There are several people who have provided me with hours of mentorship, training, supervision, and assistance over the past two years. This weekend, I stopped into TJ Maxx and picked up a beautiful pack of Thank You cards as well as a few small gifts. This week I plan on expressing my appreciation for the contributions these individuals have made in my life with personal handwritten cards and small tokens of gratitude.
As you make your exit, remember to say thank you! Make a list of the people who have been vital to your success including your boss, coworkers, mentors, and administrative assistants. A Thank You card and/or a small token can go a long way.
Leave the Door Open
Although you are leaving, you want to keep your contacts strong. Therefore, it is a good idea to send a mass email to the people on your team providing details about your next move, your updated contact information, and an invitation to work collaboratively in the future.
As I leave this position I can confidently say that I am a better clinician, writer, teacher, and leader. I am proud of the work that I have done, and I know I am stronger and in a better position to excel because of my growth here.
Take some time to reflect on what you have learned and how it will serve you in your future endeavors. Whatever your reason for leaving, the skills you gained and/or the lessons you have learned will serve you will in the future.
Remember over the next few months I will be sharing every step of my transition.
I would love to hear about the current or upcoming changes in your life. Let's do this together! Comment below, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s chat