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You are Here: Home > Articles > Preparing to Leave Your Job

Preparing to Leave Your Job

Before you hand in your letter of resignation, it's a good idea to make sure that you've fully prepared to leave your job.

Why? Because you might get escorted off the premises shortly after you quit, never to return again. The same goes if you get laid off or fired.

In the U.S., employees are often escorted off the premises almost immediately after resigning or getting laid off or fired. That's especially true when they have access to confidential information or expensive equipment; but it's not uncommon otherwise.

Companies often send resigning and discharged employees packing right away regardless of notice periods, so the companies don't have to worry about last-minute theft, sabotage and corporate espionage. They might also do it to avoid issuing resignation pay in states that don't require it.

Meanwhile, resigning employees don't have to worry about guilt, resentment, ugly watercooler rumors, and telling their resignation stories over and over again throughout their notice periods.

Your employer will likely give you a few minutes to pack up your personal belongings on your last day. That's nice, but not enough time if you haven't prepared to leave your job, knowing that you were going to resign or suspecting that you might soon get laid off or fired.

Your employer might even shadow you with a security guard, HR rep or your soon-to-be ex-boss. It might look just a tad suspicious to Big Brother, if you try to remove or copy stuff from your office files and computer at the last minute.

Worse, you might get searched on your way out. If so, you might also get busted for trying to leave with your briefcase stuffed with portfolio materials. That's because the company most likely owns all of your work, and most definitely owns the office supplies and equipment you might have used to make copies.

Once you're out the door, you likely won't be able to get back in or access the computer network for security reasons. So, if you're soon going to quit your job or suspect that you might soon get laid off or fired:

  • Take personal property home, so there's no question about what belongs to you or the company on your last day.
  • Remove personal items (software, emails, etc.) from your PC.
  • Collect current contact information from your references, potential networking associates, and vendors and clients if appropriate.
  • Ask for letters of recommendation.
  • Compile a portfolio of your work.

Naturally, you might have to do some to all of that on the q.t. or with the right people at the right time. Even if you don't suspect that you might soon get laid off or fired, perhaps it's a good idea to do some to all of the above as you go along, just in case. That way, you won't be caught off guard when the axe swings.

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