Transition Checklist

By Scot Herrick | Personal Finance

Apr 07

When you are in the processes of changing positions to another company there are things that need to be done to ensure that the transition is managed well.

Here’s a suggested checklist — do you have any items to add?


  • Get personal e-mail address and cell phone numbers of those you want to stay in touch with after moving on.
  • Before leaving, set up two lunch meetings for after you leave with people want to stay in touch with.
  • Set up calendar reminders to call people you want to stay in touch with for two weeks after you leave to start making contacts. It is way too easy to be “out of sight, out of mind.”


  • Have the “employee help line” number so that once access to your company systems is gone you can still call the help desk about financial transition issues.
  • Clarify if your final paycheck will be mailed to your house or be a direct deposit to your account (avoid those bank charges for NSF when you thought the check was going to be direct deposit and it was mailed instead…).
  • Verify your mailing address in company systems so you receive mailings without issues (like for your W-2 form for taxes…)
  • Verify when your vested stock options and grants will no longer be yours to cash. This can be 30-days, 10-days — or on your last day on payroll. Make sure you know what your plan provisions are when you leave the company so you don’t leave money on the table.
  • Know when your health insurance expires. Most often, it is the end of the month you are in — so watch the timing of that and when you get health insurance on your new position.
  • Know when you can move your vested money from the 401(k) plan at your current position to your own IRA. Set up an IRA account if needed for this. Usually, you cannot move money for 30-days after you leave the company — another thing to put on the calendar.
  • Know when you can move any vested pension money (if you have a pension) to your IRA account. This time frame is different then the 401(k) plan; pensions are handled differently.
  • Know your passwords for the actual plan administrators sites for your pension and 401(k) plan. If your usual access is through an internal home page and it redirects you to the financial site, you won’t have access once your system access is removed.
  • Review what is automatically removed from your paycheck monthly and make appropriate arrangements. For example, I had car and home insurance paid through payroll deduction as part of a benefit for working at a company. I had to arrange this to be paid directly.

Are there others?

Knowing these things before you leave will significantly reduce your stress in moving to a new position.

  • Ed Svoboda says:

    Great post. I’ve changed jobs a number of times in my career and the next time I make such a change I’ll be coming back to this list.

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