Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Hit the Road With the Right Stuff!

A reader once asked for my advice regarding what information they should take with them, before they leave employment at their current job. This was a great question because once you’ve left a company, your opportunity to get vital information is gone. I am including two lists.

The first list is an accounting of some of the things you should take with you, if you have an outstanding complaint/grievance against your employer. Even if you have not officially filed an external complaint and do not know if you will pursue legal action, this is information you should take with you.

The second list includes some of the items that employees should ensure they have, even if they are leaving their job under the best/positive circumstances.


--A copy of your company’s personnel manual or, at the very least, the applicable sections that are germane to your case

--A copy of your company’s anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies

--A copy of any written warnings you’ve received, including performance deficiency memos or emails that are meant to document patterns of negative behavior or work performance

--A copy of your job description to show your official responsibilities (you can use the description to show how you may have been bogged down with many unofficial tasks that would ensure you failed to fulfill the requirements of your job)

--A copy of your timesheets

--A copy of the position for which you were seeking promotion or may/could have been promoted to fill

--A copy of performance reviews

--Memos and email that prove your case/claims

--A list of incidents that support your allegations of harassment, etc. (including dates/times)

--Organization charts that show the hierarchy at your company/of your department

--A list of superiors that you reported harassment, etc. to (including dates/times)

--A copy of congratulatory email/”thank you” email demonstrating that you did a good job performing your work

--Photos of any graffiti or racial slurs that were used to attack you

--Tape recordings of nasty/offensive voice mail messages

--Witness statements by those who witnessed harassment, etc. or, at the very least, a witness list of those who saw or heard things that happened to you

--Performance review guidelines that should have dictated how your review was composed and the appropriate evaluation standards for your position

--A copy of any email/memos you’ve sent to superiors or Human Resources complaining about mistreatment (include any responses received)

--A copy of your resignation letter


--An official copy of your job description

--A copy of your performance reviews

--A copy of congratulatory email/”thank you” email

--Writing samples – Writing can be an equalizer that makes you competitive with those who have degrees or more advanced degrees than you possess. Many people write poorly, including the college educated population. You are extremely valuable to an employer, if you write well. Always keep samples of your work. This includes keeping samples of any technical writing or proposal writing, as well as any writing for specific audiences (e.g., teens, AIDS patients, etc.)

--Design/product samples - For instance, if you oversaw or coordinated the work of a creative team or vendors

--Product shots -Stock photos of any finished products that you helped create

--General samples of your work, specific to your field (e.g., research analysis reports)

--Letters of recommendation – Make sure to get positive written feedback from your superiors and coworkers before leaving any job

--Phone numbers for oral references – Line up your references as you pursue other work opportunities. Find out what phone number your references would like to be called on (Some may want to receive a phone employment verification call on their cell phone and not their work phone)

Always think about what information is specific to your job/field and compile information that can be included in a portfolio of your work.


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