8 Things to do When Leaving a Job

Print shows a futuristic view of air travel ov...Image via WikipediaI have given my notice and now it is just a question of getting to that final day and how hard it can be.

Having been through this waiting for it to end scenario several times, I have some advice for those of you who are also waiting for that final day in your present job.

This is the hardest part about giving notice and then having to wait until it is over.  It is a time where you can make several mistakes or go out on a high note with your head held high and improve your reputation at your old job.

Most of us can choose how we get to that last day:

  • be an ass about leaving
  • digging a hole and hiding until it is over
  • just keep doing enough to keep your boss off your butt
  • go out like a star

If you want to be an jerk during your notice period, you do so at your own peril or if you decide just to put in your time, but do nothing while you are there – same thing.  This is not the time to trash all of the hard work and the good will you have garnered (if you did) while you were working at your present job.

It might feel good for a minute or two to “tell a few people to stuff it where the sun doesn’t shine”, sabotage a project or client, leave a bunch of stuff for the next person to worry about that you could have gotten done and all those other “wonderful” things that are going through your head.


Your actions or inactions will follow you and eventually you will reap what you have sown.  You might be going for a job someday and look at who is across the table interviewing you – that person you told to stuff-it, it happens all the time. Never burn any bridges if you don’t have to, you never know when you might need them again.

Now is the time to go out of your way to:

  1. finish up any work, project or tasks that you can
  2. let clients and co-workers know that you will no longer be there and who they can contact for help or information
  3. be humble about leaving – don’t continually brag about the fact you will not be here after such and such date
  4. clean out your desk, office/room – don’t leave piles of folders, files or junk laying around
  5. don’t bash (you fill in the blanks)
  6. mend fences with those that you had disagreements with – if you can
  7. thank those who helped you while you were there
  8. be positive about your present job – emphasize the good things about working there
You might be surprised at how much these eight things can pay off later, especially when you are sitting across from a former supervisor or client with who you kept your excellent reputation intact by leaving the “right way”. You never know if you might want to work for this company again, it happens more than you think, you are a known asset.
If there is any way possible, stay positive and keep working right up until that last day.  If you do that your supervisors and co-workers will respect you more and you never know what good can happen if you keep showing your best side, when you could have just skated to the end.
Remember no matter which way you decide to leave your present job, people will remember what you did and how you did it.

Do you have any advice for those who are in their “notice” time period to help them move on the “right way”?

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