10 Things: About the Art Of Saying Goodbye*

how-to-end-internship-on-great-terms*The Pat Benatar song is actually “About the Art of Letting Go,” not saying good bye, but so it goes.

As the summer dwindles for summer classes of future MBAs and JDs, we thought we’d give some advice on how to say goodbye (and hello).

While you’re still working there…

1. Give people a head’s up that your last day is approaching — do your best to set up lunch, coffee, whatever. Until you’ve accepted your offer there is still very much an air of “let’s make the summers happy,” so now would be a good time to approach that Big Wig and see if you can set something up. (Hint: If you’re trying to organize something with the CEO or Executive Partner you may want to try to get a few other summers on board — it’ll be less awkward for you and it’ll be seen as more time-efficient for the Big Wig.)

2. Assess if you’d like to offer any of your time during your final year in school – law firms in particular have been known to quietly use 3Ls if there is too much work. If you’d like to commit your time during your last full year of freedom, offer it up during lunch or coffee.

3. Make sure people in your summer class are organizing a thank-you present for your secretaries, as well as the recruiting office — flowers are nice, spa packages are better. If no one is, spearhead the effort yourself. If you had a very active summer, follow up with a hand-written thank-you note to the recruiting office. Why? It’s the gracious thing to do. (And no one likes working with an ingrate.)

4. On your last day, try to do a personal drop-by to say goodbye to the people you enjoyed working with the most. If anything comes up in the conversation, be sure to follow up on it. Exchange e-mail addresses if possible — if there was a mid-level at the company you especially liked you may want to make sure you get his or her personal e-mail address, on the off chance they leave before you return.

5. Be judicious about social networking sites. It’s fine to use Facebook or MySpace to connect with the other students you summered with. If you want to, it’s not inappropriate to use LinkedIn to connect, either. However, do not request to become “Linked In” with superiors at the company, unless you’d also ask them to recommend you to a future employer — it’s more serious than a casual link, and no one has really had time to assess the other person’s work. (See our updated LinkedIn tips here.) Requesting to become linked to an mid-level or senior person you had lunch once or twice with, or wrote a memo for, is really not acceptable. Similarly, be wise about your Facebook or MySpace page — if you’re going to connect with future work associates, take your cue from them. If they don’t have drunken bikini shots of themselves on there, you might want to think twice before putting those on your own page. (Although, really, we’re hoping you removed those pictures before you started the interview process.)

During the long absence…

6. Stay in touch with people you liked! Ask for advice, give them a general update on your life if you got to personally know someone well. This can pay off professionally: if you worked at a law firm this summer and got to know a first- or second-year associate very well, by the time you get back they’ll be a mid-level associate with (hopefully) good work to pass along.

7. Use Google Alerts to stay “up” on projects you worked on during the summer. Did the deal ever happen? Did the case ever settle? Did the product ever launch? Send an e-mail when you see an article on point to the bosses who supervised you. Also use the service to stay up on other company news and gossip. This way, if the firm wins a huge judgment, or the company posts huge profits you can congratulate the people you knew at the company (as well as being aware if layoffs happen or the stock price plummets). Finally, you may also want to use Google Alerts for any newsmakers in your firm — it never hurts to e-mail the BigWig and say, “Ah, saw your op-ed in last week’s WSJ. I learned a lot, and thought you’d be interested to read ____ as well.”

8. Don’t speak ill of your experience around campus. Remember, this is the company you’ll be working for; it will appear on your resume — you don’t want to contribute to a bad opinion of it, if one exists (and you certainly don’t want to create one).

As you prepare to come back for the start of work…

9. Send a personal e-mail to the people you worked with to let them know you’re coming back – even if everyone in your class is starting on the same date. The onus of getting back in touch falls to the person with the least seniority — which is you. Let them know you’ll be coming back soon; depending on the person you’re e-mailing you may want to ask if they have any good projects if they can hold them for your start date, or you may want to ask if there are any projects at the company you should avoid like the plague.

10. Whatever you do, during every part of this process, avoid e-mailing everyone at the company or law firm. You may have seen people who had worked at the company for years send around a mass e-mail saying good bye — THIS IS NOT YOU. DO NOT DO THIS. All you will do is make yourself seem self-important and lacking in discrimination.

Liked this story? You may also want to check out our Corporette 101 features (advice for women just starting out in the business world), The Hunt (where we review some options in the market for basics), our What to Wear To… advice, or maybe check out some of our polls. Oh, or also our 10 Things columns…

Pictured at top:  How do you say goodbye with a picture, originally uploaded to Flickr by 23am.com.

Thursday’s TPS Report: Theory Jewel Top

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices. We begin the week in splurge mode, with our most expensive suggestions, and wind our way to Friday, where a less expensive item of clothing might be just what you need to make it to the weekend.

Theory Jewel Top

This Theory Jewel top is great for under a suit or over some wide trousers: slightly different but still your basic tee. It’s got a balloon edge at the bottom hem, and is semi-sheer near the clavicle. Available in white (which we’re sure you’d wear all the time with navy or brown suits) and orange red (pictured). Was $225, available (final sale) from ShopBop for $67.
Theory Jewel Top

Suit of the Week: DvF Windowpane Suit

This week’s Suit of the Week is a wool/cotton blend from Diane von Furstenberg. We love the fucshia windowpane pattern on the otherwise demure gray wool, as well as the structure of the jacket and the general quality craftsmanship one gets with a DvF garment. The ‘Etta’ jacket is available for $345, and the ‘Burnes’ pants are available for $280, both from Nordstrom.


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Wednesday’s TPS Report – Suzabelle Krona Dress

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices. We begin the week in splurge mode, with our most expensive suggestions, and wind our way to Friday, where a less expensive item of clothing might be just what you need to make it to the weekend.

Suzabelle Krona Dress
We love the simple details on this Krona dress, like the wide collar, the ruching, and the piping on the body and sleeves.  (Slightly sexy, yes, but the demure hemline and the ballet sleeves keep it appropriate for the office.) We expect it would be particularly flattering on curvy, high-waisted girls. Available at Couture Candy for $155, available in khaki/white (pictured) and mushroom/black. Suzabelle Krona Dress

Tool of the Trade: Shop It To Me

We remember a long, long time ago, when we used to love shopping sale racks. Buying stuff at full price was no challenge, we thought — it was only worthy of purchase if it was at least 66% off. We got some great deals — a pair of Banana Republic pants for $6.99, the perfect black silk blazer for $20, matching pieces of an Ann Taylor evening gown (ball gown and bustier) for $9.99 each. Ah, glory days.

Somewhere along the road, however, we got just a bit too busy to regularly shop the sales, as did many of our friends. And we would sit around and say, man, wouldn’t it be great if we had a personal shopper who could tell us when clothes we liked, in our sizes, went on sale?

Amazingly enough, there is such a service, and it’s free: Shop It To Me. This free online service will e-mail you as frequently as you want (daily, weekly, or a few times a week). You can set your preferences and select brands, sizes, even percentage off.

Personally, we have our e-mails come daily and have our sale markdown set at 60%. At that percentage, the e-mails are usually pretty short, but sometimes they go for pages. It’s like a daily head’s up if there’s a whole new stash of deeply discounted clothes somewhere.

Tuesday’s TPS Report – Kate Spade Kelley

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices. We begin the week in splurge mode, with our most expensive suggestions, and wind our way to Friday, where a less expensive item of clothing might be just what you need to make it to the weekend.

Kate Spade
We love a purple pump — you can wear them with black, navy, blue, gray, beige — and unlike some other colors (green, yellow, we’re looking at you) purple is generally a flattering color against bare legs so you can wear them with skirts as well. We’d even wear these with gray pants and a red, yellow, or green sweater. Available from Zappos for $332. Kate Spade Kelley