1. Keep your intentions confidential.
Do not tell anyone – not even your best friend/colleague. You want to keep it private as it is preferable for your boss to hear this directly from you, rather than through the office grapevine.
We once had a candidate who excitedly shared the good news that she signed the offer letter with her colleague in another department and within 3 hours, she was called into her boss’s room for a rather uncomfortable conversation.
Remember – loose lips sink ships!
2. Do clear all the medical check-ups with the new company before tendering your resignation.
You would want to avoid a nightmare scenario where after tendering, you are informed by your new company that a terminal disease was diagnosed during the check-up and the offer is being rescinded. You would then face the ‘double-whammy’ of having no job in hand plus no medical coverage from either company.
There was a British Banker based in Hong Kong who accepted an offer to move to Dubai. He sold off his flat, pulled his kids out of school, got his wife to resign from her cushy job, then tendered his resignation.
Upon moving to Dubai, he was asked to go for his mandatory pre-employment health-screening (it was a contractual pre-requisite which he didn’t see in the fine-print) where, to his horror, they found he had a serious medical complication that needed longer-term treatment back home in the UK.
His offer was rescinded and he had to move back home with his family in tow, with neither insurance coverage nor a job in hand.
3. Do develop a ‘hand-over’ action plan for your team.
This is to ensure there is continuity after you leave so you don’t burn any bridges. Be responsible and ensure that you leave the office in a better state than before you arrived. You will be remembered fondly for that.
This plan need not be a full-fledged Business Continuity Document, but just outlining deals that you are in the midst of developing, any business leads you might be sourcing, or even just contact details of important individuals/clients.
A smooth handover means your old company won’t be bugging you for more information when you start your new job.
4. Do prepare yourself for a worst-case scenario of being ‘walked out of the office’.
This happens when you are relieved of all duties with immediate effect upon tendering your resignation and are asked to leave the company’s premises on the spot. You may be supervised by Security as you clear your desk and may not even have time to bid your colleagues farewell.
All items you remove may be inspected and anything deemed sensitive will be retained. In anticipation of this, you might want to remove all personal or sensitive information first (legally, of course) prior to tendering your resignation.
1. Don’t remove confidential data.
Any information regarding your client’s information, deal details, purchasing patterns, etc is considered confidential. You should not even remove name-cards, training materials, or SOP (Standard Operating Procedures) Manuals as these can be construed as ‘Confidential Information’ and removal of such materials could contravene your Employment Contract.
Even training manuals and company handbooks can be included in that list.
Don’t try to remove information via your USB thumb-drive or by emailing the data to yourself as it is extremely easy for your IT department to trace. Moreover, in some sectors (eg, banking) where secrecy laws are enforced, it could constitute a criminal act that might result in a trial and conviction.
2. In the same vein, do not DELETE any work-related information from your hard-disk.
Neither should you go on a shredding-frenzy. If you need to shred anything, put it aside and clear it with your boss after you have tendered so no one can accuse you of destroying sensitive data.
Avoid any activity that could be misconstrued as improper, as it could affect your reputation in the industry that could affect your career in the long run.
3. Do not keep any personal information on your hard-disk after your departure.
This could be the innocuous family vacation photos, to the more incriminating type of data you collect while surfing the Web during your free time – cover-letters for job applications to competitor firms and other stuff.
You would probably want to delete personal spreadsheets involving your outstanding housing loans, bank balances and monthly family budgets.
We knew of an Executive who left over 40 GBytes of family photos and videos that he had been editing during office hours which led his bosses to wonder how he ever got any ‘real’ work done.
4. You do not have to inform your boss which company you are joining.
I have personally witnessed disgruntled bosses who would call up the new hiring manager’s office to badmouth the individual, just to spite her for leaving the team.
Keep this information up your sleeve and you will have one less thing to worry about during this tense process.
Do not feel pressured to reveal the exact company you are joining. However, if you are leaving for a direct competitor, then you might want to inform your company HR and be put on immediate Gardening Leave – where you need no longer serve your notice at the office, or it could be an immediate exit from the organisation with full separation benefits.