Making a smoother career transition

Carina Rogerio, Head of Coaching Division, Executive Coach International, shares how employees should oversee their departure.

Transitions are a busy period for anyone, and can be chaotic. From the start of your notice to the time you begin your new job, key things need to be checked off - a handover for your successor as well as from your predecessor.

A common trapping that derails a smooth transition is our lack of professionalism in handling handover by indulging in our emotions, both positive and negative.

More often than not, we attach emotions to the job being vacated - it could be happiness from leaving a toxic environment or a reluctance from leaving a job that brought joy. Whatever it may be, it is clear that emotions tied to the job or the organisation are immaterial for your successor and for the company.

A mentor of mine said, “Take care of exits, both yours and others. Leave behind how you want to be remembered as a professional.”

Indeed the main point is professionalism.

Do this by exhibiting a credible image with a well-managed exit. The notice period is an opportunity to document guidelines for your successor. Create a handover checklist and provide sufficient time to delegate tasks to them. Allow some lead time for them to make mistakes, as a chance for you to correct them if need be.

Now that your exit has been taken care of, do not forget to manage your own succession. Create opportunities to interact with your future team(s) and predecessor. Get familiarised with the people you will be working with, as well as their expectations and practices.

Transitions can be chaotic but it doesn’t have to be if you effectively manage the exit process.

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