You’ve accepted a new position and turned in your notice of resignation for your current role. It’s an exciting and hectic time. However, how you approach your last day of work can play a vital role in your professional life going forward.

First, be sure your work is transitioned to someone who can handle the job. Try not to leave any projects unfinished or transfer them to a colleague who can see through to their completion. It’s important to consider your current employer and current colleagues when leaving your job—you don’t want to be seen in a negative light because of a pile of work left sitting on your desk.

On that note, be sure to leave on the best of terms possible. Each and every colleague or manager with whom you work is not only a potential reference going forward but could also be a future coworker or boss. You never know when your paths will cross again, so ensure you are polite, cordial and professional at your departure. Keep conversations and correspondence regarding both your new and old positions light and positive; be sure not to criticize your previous role, responsibilities, coworkers or supervisor.

Before leaving your role, also consider your clients. Inform them that you’re leaving and assure them they are being left in good hands. Be careful as not to potentially appear to be “taking” any clients with you if you’re under a contract or a non-compete. However, letting them know of your departure is professional and will be appreciated.

Before taking your final walk out of the building, send a last day at work e-mail to your current staff. Thank them for the opportunity to have worked with them, be appreciative for the lessons you have learned and graciously let them know you will be moving on to a new opportunity.

Throughout my career in both sales and marketing and during my tenure with Lucas Group, I coach candidates, friends and colleagues to leave with grace. By not burning any bridges, you will position yourself to have better professional relationships with these individuals going forward.

Are you transitioning to a new role or have you recently changed jobs? How did you handle your last day at work? We want to hear from you.