My LinkedIn newsfeed is full of people announcing new positions today.  Two years, 10 years, 15 years, 3 years, 1 year – tenures all over the map. The common thread? These people all share their thanks for the opportunity they had at their soon to be former employer AND the celebration that their teams held for them as they left. This is how you leave a job so you can boomerang back.

How to Boomerang? Check off these 3 boxes:

  1. Respectfully, with time to ensure positive succession,
  2. With your projects tied up in a bow; and
  3. With a public acknowledgement for the benefits you received while working at the company, in the team, or on a project.

Ashleigh Bowden, now on the HR team at Palmer & Harvey, received a cake with the inscription “You are dead to us now. We hope you fail. XXX” I don’t know Ashleigh, but she clearly has a great sense of humor, as do her former colleagues. More than 12,000 people liked her post with the cake and it’s received over 1,100 comments. As one of the comments on her post says “If I got a cake like that from a company it would make me miss them more. That is awesome.” For the win.

Andrew Lolk wrapped up 6 years in day-to-day operations at White Shark Media. He’s staying on the board, and starting a “new adventure” this year. “I’ll miss a lot of things, but most of all I’ll miss the people that I will not be able to see on a daily basis. It was a privilege working with you! Thanks for everything…”

Laszlo Bock, Google’s SVP of People Operations, announced he was leaving a few weeks ago, but his post in LinkedIn showed up a couple of times in the last day – people in my network, really like what he has to say. “It’s been an honor to be a part of the company’s story, and a joy to learn so much from so many Googler. Even more it was a privilege to build People Operations along with so many exceptional friends…”

I could go on. You get the point.

In today’s social media world, how you leave – publicly – is important for your personal brand and for building options for your long-term career. While posting a picture of yourself smiling and holding a cake with “you’re dead to me” can bring out the snark in some (PSA: please let’s make 2017 the year of more building up, not tearing down. PSA over), her team clearly appreciated her. And understand her desire to move on… for now. My bet – Ashleigh works with some of her former colleagues again.

Who knows what the next few years will bring for these people and the companies they left and joined. Who knows what we’ll all learn or what opportunities will come at our former employers in the next 24 – 36 months? Perhaps the best next move will be to return to a former employer. Be a viable candidate to boomerang back to a company by leaving your positions well. Keep your options open by maintaining relationships with your soon-to-be former colleagues. Be public and positive as you chart your own career from weigh station to weigh station.

Leave well so that you can boomerang if you want to. With job tenures at an all-time low, and companies constantly ebbing and flowing to maintain relevance, Boomeranging will increase as companies realize that their former employees are “not dead to them,” rather that former employees can be the greatest resource for recruiting. But it all starts with the employee and how he or she leaves.

Leave well. The end.