5 Things to Include When Leaving Your Designer Job

You just landed a new job! Congrats! After you let your boss know, your work wifey or hubby and which snacks to stock up on, you should now think about how it’s going to be when you’re gone. I know, I know — businesses gotta business. However, putting yourself in your coworker’s shoes will help the leaving process go much more smoothly.

With almost seven years under my design belt, I’ve been able to compile a list of must-haves when preparing to leave. Feel free to leave a comment if you’ve done something differently!

1. Link Dump ‘Em

Everybody’s gotta do it and it’s no fun trying to remember all of the accounts you’ve made and their passwords. I’ve started the habit of creating an Evernote on the first day and recording all account information as I create them. By the time you leave, you shouldn’t have to rummage through your Google settings for passwords.

If your company doesn’t have a server, Google Drive or Dropbox are most likely a godsend. Even if your team members are shared already, it helps to compile links for master design folders just in case. Same goes for miscellanies links like prototypes, Basecamp projects, etc.

2. Share Contacts

At my last job, I was in charge of recruiting for our usability tests. I created mailbox specifically for all conversations that made it easy to copy over. If you can, make sure to include email addresses of people who were interested but couldn’t show up. They may in the future!

Other contacts to share could be leads on new employees, contacts from companies your team may not be using yet and anything in between.

3. Bitch Better Have My Libraries

Recently, the design world has been increasingly converting over to atomic, or component, libraries. It makes our job easier as well as developers and product managers. With that being said, the patterns have to be consistent or things fall apart quickly.

Before jumping ship, take a look at where your libraries live. Whether that’s Creative Cloud, Google Drive or the Craft plugin for Sketch. Sometimes libraries or a company’s design language can still be in progress. If so, put yourself in your replacement’s shoes. Would they know where to find files? If they opened a PSD, are the layers organized in groups? Pattern libraries are a designer’s best friend — so don’t f it up.

4. Offer Interview Help

At my last few startups, because the team was so small, I offered help with finding a replacement. Even if there’s an HR department, you are the one who knows the secret day-to-day hacks. Dribbble, Behance and LinkedIn are great places to start looking.

5. Onboarding

While PMs mostly take on the onboarding, it also helps to have the person leaving lend a hand. I created a short Google Slide that included accounts to make, where to find files, and most importantly, how to save files. Having an onboarding document, no matter how long, can ease the initial anxiety from starting a new job. Perhaps even including company culture tips and what’s actually good to eat for lunch will make the newbie feel right at home.

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