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Leaving Your Job? Here’s What To Do Before You Walk Out The Door
May 04, 2017

The days when people stuck — or at least hoped to stick — with one employer for their entire working lives are, of course, long, long gone. These days, the average worker is likely to have more than 12 employers in the course of a career.

Which means that packing up and moving along to your next gig is a necessary job skill in and of itself. But with our work lives centered on laptops and smartphones, and with the lines between “work” and “personal” getting blurrier all the time, such moves are a lot more complicated than just tossing a few tchotchkes into a box and waving bye-bye.

Whether you’re leaving of your own accord or not, here are a few things you should take care of before you walk out the door. (If you are leaving of your own accord, you might want to take care of them before you give notice, just in case things get nasty.)

You can take (some of) it with you

You know you shouldn’t store personal stuff on your work-supplied computer or smartphone. But then most of us aren’t supposed to surf Facebook at work either, are we?

So before you leave, you need to make sure that any personal data you might have on your work machines is stored somewhere you can get to it after you’ve left. While you’re at it, you might also want to save any work-related data that you’ll want in your future work life — assuming you can do so legally, of course.

___ Set up some storage: First of all, you need a place to store everything. That means either connecting your work machine to a personal account on an online storage service such as Dropbox or Google Drive (assuming your company’s security rules allow such things) or grabbing an external drive (ditto).

That done, what should you save?

___ Rescue your contacts: Start with contacts, especially the details for people you worked with inside and outside the company (whose info might not already be stored in your personal address book). Those contacts could be stored in a dedicated contact-management app or just in your email program. Wherever they are, a couple of seconds on Google will tell you how to export their data to a separate file (likely in CSV format or something similarly universal), which you can then save to that external storage you set up earlier.