Finishing out the final two weeks at your job can be a tough task but, handled the right way, you can use it as a way to launch yourself into your new position with momentum and confidence.
In our first post in this series, we pointed out that experts emphasize offering your support by helping transition in your replacement or drafting a summary of your daily duties. A transition plan can be a helpful tool for your employer, as well as a mindset of maintaining bridges when you leave, not burning them.
In this post, we’ll continue offering the insight of workplace experts whose advice can help you turn your final two weeks into a success story.
Finish Up Any Remaining Tasks You Have
Ryan O’Neil, funder of St. Louis-based Curate, an event software company, says your final two weeks should be a time for you to finish out your remaining workload. Don’t assume you can brush off the work you committed to do before leaving.
“If someone gives their two weeks, that’s totally understandable especially in situations where we’re too small of a company for a particular skill set,” he said. “But, if you really work hard to finish off any remaining tasks you have on your list and help create a transition plan, you better believe I’ll recommend you at a later day or even hire you again as we grow.”
This advice is something we also heard from Philip Livingston, a digital marketing specialist at Condo Control Central.
“I strongly believe you should work harder than you ever have in the final two weeks, so that when you leave everyone will have a good last impression of you,” he said.
Resist the Urge to Live Out a Rage-Filled Quitting Fantasy
Most of us have had that frustration-fueled fantasy in which our last day of work ends with leaving the building in a blaze of disgruntled glory.
Resist the urge, said Elene Cafasso, founder of Enerpace, Inc. Executive Coaching.
“As tempting as it may be to tell people what you really think of them on your way out the door, please don’t do it! If you really need to get it off your chest, write a letter at home and don’t send it,” she said. “You can symbolically let go of all your negative emotions towards the prior firm or boss by destroying the letter in whatever way most appeals to you.”
As far as how you should handle your goodbyes, Cafasso says the safe way to go is to wish your coworkers the best.
“No more is necessary,” she said. “If you had a positive relationship with the person, ask if they’d like to connect via LinkedIn. If you were friends, see if they’d feel comfortable staying in touch on Facebook.”
Set Up Lunches or Drinks with the People You Want to Maintain Friendships With
It can be hard to set aside time with your best work friends as you’re getting ready to transition to a new job, but it’s worth it to be intentional about meeting up with them before you leave, said Anna Hunter, founder at ArcVida,
“Ask yourself: Whom do you want to be able to email in a few years knowing they’ll respond? Who is excited about the same things you’re excited about? Who has the kind of positive energy that means they likely have a powerful network of their own,” Hunter asked. “Those are the people with whom you want to schedule time out of the office.”
Not only will these last few meet-ups help you gain a sense of closure, but they’ll also increase your network, which could come in handy further down your professional journey.
“The last two weeks in any job are a great time to strengthen relationships so you leave the company with a stronger network than when you came in,” Hunter said.
Wrapping Up the Series: Some Final Reminders About Finishing Strong
Handing in your two-week notice is a freeing thing to do because it means you’re moving on by virtue of your own decision. In some cases, you’re leaving because you can’t stand your current position. In other cases, the move is the beginning of a new phase of your career. Either way, how you leave will say a lot about your character as a professional.
Try your best to put your former company in the best possible position when you’re gone. Provide a transition plan and finish work you’re able to reasonably complete before you go. Avoid burning bridges out of bitterness and, when you can, spend some time with your favorite coworkers before you go.