11 Tasks To Complete on Your Last Day at Work (With Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published October 18, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Regardless of your reasons for leaving, it's essential to exit your workplace professionally on your last day. This is a time to celebrate with coworkers and help minimize the impact your departure has on the company. Understanding what to do on your last day of work can help ensure you maintain a positive and professional reputation. In this article, we explore tasks to complete on your last day at work, discuss why your last day is important, and offer useful tips for departing a company in a respectful and professional way.

Tasks to complete on your last day at work

Here is a list of tasks that you can complete on your last day at work to help ensure you depart the organization in a respectful and professional manner:

Collect employee contacts

Approach employees with whom you wish to maintain a relationship after your departure. To build your professional network, you can benefit from staying connected to your supervisor, members of the executive team, the human resources manager, and any coworkers with whom you have a strong connection. You can contact them if you need a recommendation letter or if you want to stay friends outside of work.

Remove personal information from your work computer or phone

Clear your inbox and forward anything important that your replacement or other coworkers can follow up on once you leave your position. During a departure interview, someone from the human resources department may also go over this process. Create a backup of any files you remove from your work computer before you depart. Save any information that may be significant to the company or your coworkers in a place that is easy to access. You can also forward any relevant information to other employees via email. Clear your browsing history and remove any unnecessary personal documents or information.

Return all company property to HR

Whether you are working alongside your replacement or they are joining the organization after you leave, make a final transfer of any company-related material. This can include technological devices such as tablets, computers, and also regular office supplies. As a general rule, you can only retain company properties if you purchase them with your own money or the company instructs you to keep them.

Leave relevant notes for your coworkers or potential replacement

Leave notes on any projects you've begun and prepare a comprehensive list of all relevant business contacts to help your replacement. Consider giving them a list of tasks that they are to complete and offer a comprehensive summary of each project and its status. If you're unclear about the condition of a project you were working on, inform them they can seek help from another employee for clarification.

Complete your exit interview

Before you leave your job, HR may ask you to perform an exit interview. The goal of the interview is for you to express your thoughts about your time and experience with the company. Here are a couple of examples of exit interview questions they may ask you:

  • What prompted you to look for another job opportunity?

  • What do you think of our company?

  • Do you believe this company has supported your ideas and career?

  • Describe an occasion when you were proud of your job.

  • What criteria did you use to find a new job?

  • How likely are you to suggest this company to others searching for work?

Related: Top 8 Exit Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

Schedule a meeting with your supervisor

Set up final half-hour meetings with your supervisor and coworkers to forward any unfinished projects. You can make recommendations to create a smooth transition after your exit from the organization. For example, you may forward any relevant information that can assist another employee to continue a task you already started. This helps to make you appear professional and also fosters a good professional relationship with other employees.

Request a letter of recommendation from your employer

Meet with your employer and request a letter of recommendation in case you apply for other employment in the future. A good reference that can speak to your working abilities may be useful throughout the recruiting process. During this time, you can also thank them and wish them the best for their guidance, oversight, and encouragement. Try to mention what they've done for you and express how significant their efforts were to your professional growth. Your manager is likely to appreciate knowing they helped you advance in your profession.

Read more: How to Request a Letter of Recommendation From an Employer (With Tips)

Write farewell messages

Before you leave an organization, prepare a final farewell email. Consider your professional experience with the organization, and include your personal contact information if anyone wishes to connect with you after you leave. This gesture helps you to leave the company on good terms with all of your coworkers. Sending one email to the whole team can help ensure you connect with everyone, but you may also like to send more personalized messages to your close team members. Ensure you keep your messages positive to ensure you leave on good terms and remain professional.

Read more: 60 Farewell Messages

Tidy your workspace

Pack a box with your items and take it out to your vehicle before saying goodbye to everyone. Check that you've packed your belongings and that your desk is clear and ready for your replacement. Consider any items you no longer require and offer them to your coworkers if they can benefit from them. Leaving a tray of paper clips, pencils, and other minor office supplies for your replacement can leave a good impression.

Say goodbye in person

When your shift is about to end, walk around the office, say goodbye to other employees, and express your appreciation for the time you spent together. You can reflect on previous times that you enjoyed together and let them know where you're working next. Attending a farewell party with your coworkers allows you to say goodbye in a more personal and elaborate manner. After work get-togethers are another excellent opportunity to conclude your last day of work and celebrate your connections with coworkers outside the official work context.

Why is your last day of work important?

The last day of work is important because, by departing on good terms, you can solidify the work relationships you've developed since your arrival. This can be helpful if you need your manager's or a coworker's support for future job applications.

Building a long-term connection can help you later in your career if you wish to keep professional ties. Spending your last day saying goodbye to coworkers can also demonstrate how much you appreciate their assistance and direction throughout your time at the company. Finally, ensuring that you have finished all duties and have left them ready for your replacement can help guarantee that the organization continues to function effectively after you depart.

Tips for leaving a good impression on your last work day

Follow these tips to leave a good impression on your last day of work:

  • Connect with your coworkers. If you worked in the organization for a while, it's likely that you made a couple of professional or personal relationships with your coworkers. On your last day, try to solidify these ties for future purposes.

  • Be transparent with your supervisors. Try not to make the resignation process hard for your supervisors. Answer their questions truthfully and ensure you are transparent during your resignation process.

  • Be helpful. Offer help whenever you can to make your departure as smooth as possible. Suggest recommendations for your replacement or even offer to train them if they start work before you officially leave.

  • Organize your files. Make it simple for your coworkers to access resources so that they can have the information they need before you leave. Make spreadsheets that detail any ongoing job tasks or accounts.

  • Continue to adhere to company protocols. To help maintain the professional reputation you've built, continue to adhere to company protocol until done in the role. Maintain your pleasant demeanour, remember to thank your employer for the opportunity, and explain how the job aided your professional development.

Example farewell message to colleagues

Here is an example of an effective farewell message you can use to help write your own:

Subject line: Last day at Tallymate

Dear colleagues,

I wanted to let you all know that I accepted another opportunity and that my last day with Tallymate is tomorrow, March 17. While I'm excited about the next steps in my career, I already miss working with every one of you. I have had a great time working with this organization and am incredibly thankful to have met each of you.

If you have any questions about my accounts, please contact Hilary Newman, who is filling in for me until the new account manager starts on March 20. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future. You can reach me at 515-123-4567 or via my personal email address, sandra.ohler19@email.com.

Thank you once more, and best wishes in all your future endeavours!


Sandra Ohler

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