Receiving that ‘Congratulations…’ email after weeks of applications, interviews and stress can be a huge rush. You spring out of bed buzzing with energy, get to the office an hour…
You’ve earnt your stripes with the job search, secured a great role and handed in your resignation. What next? As a PA, if you’ve worked at an organisation for a while, you’ve probably developed a way of doing things that work for both you and those you support. A thorough handover will therefore play an essential role in ensuring a seamless transition.
Handover notes can take a bit of time to put together and when you’re in the throng of your normal day-to-day job, you might feel the weight of the additional workload. That being said, careful planning and the following guidelines will keep the process as smooth as possible.
1. Discuss the handover process with your manager
Clarify how it should be handled, the level of involvement you’re expected to play, and what the focus of your handover should be.
2. Start your handover notes straight away
Your notice period might be four, eight or 12 weeks – but believe me, that time will fly. If you leave it to the last minute, not only are you likely to forget details that the new incumbent will need, you’ll also put a huge strain on yourself in the last few days of your role. Start the process by listing things as they pop into your head. You should be highlighting day-to-day tasks and priorities of course, but use the following as a guide:
– A list and timetable of actions
– A brief of ongoing issues
– A calendar of forthcoming events and deadlines
– Passwords and login information
– A list of useful contacts
– A guide to navigating files and folders on the system
3. Let everyone know as early as possible
If your employer is happy for the information to be communicated, start letting people know about your plans. By giving them the heads-up, they’ll be able to help the handover process as well, either by asking you questions about things you might not have thought about, or by taking on some of your tasks to relieve you of yours. They’re also more likely to tell you of any developing issues you might not have been aware of, so you can flag them up with your successor.
Your productivity is likely to slow down a bit during your handover, so by letting your colleagues know you can give them a bit of advance warning! Keep your external contacts informed as well, like suppliers, communicating your leaving date and the contact details of the new person.
4. Allow as much time as possible with your successor
Generally speaking, the more time you have to spend with your successor, the more information you’ll be able to pass on. Obviously offer your help along the way, but ensure you communicate regularly and have a final handover meeting in which they have the opportunity to ask any further questions. It might be worth having a third party attend the meeting as well, just for an extra pair of ears.
5. Go the extra mile
It can be intimidating for a new person when they first start a new job. Be sure to introduce them to everyone and define everyone’s roles so they understand the dynamics of the organisational structure. Feel free to leave your contact details with the new successor as well. It will boost your personal reputation and help them out greatly if they’re ever in a stitch!
Looking for help with your job hunt or need some extra advice? Get in touch with the Tiger Team today!