Whether you quit your job or you get laid off, for one reason or another, when time to leave your job, it is very important to depart on a good note. You must try, as much as you may hate the place and quite possibly your soon to be ex-fellow employees, it is crucial that you do not burn any bridges because you never know when you may encounter one of your colleagues or your superiors again down the line in a different circumstance. You also don’t know when you might need to use this job as a reference so even when you know you are going to be out of there, you must still be on your best behavior.
Things to keep in mind when you know you are soon to be history at your place of employment:
1) If you have any opportunity to put in your two weeks notice, do so. It’s responsible, professional and is polite, as it gives your employer the fair enough time needed to find someone in your place or close up tasks you left upon your departure.
2) Remain on your best behavior, just as if you were getting your 90-day review instead of leaving the position. If your employers see you are hard working until the end, they will have great sentiments toward you when you are gone and should you need a referral at any time, there is a better chance they will give you a good one.
3) Keep to company policies regarding emails and web browsing. Don’t spend any more time searching for that airline ticket or googling your latest love interest’s name than you would if your boss were in the same office or cube as you. Most companies have security departments who monitor employees usage of such behaviors and if they see a sudden increase in your personal web usage after you give your notice, that does not look good. Even worse, it may be grounds for them to ask you to leave early, which could be a major deficit to your financial budget, not to mention your queue of good references.
4) Limit the personal phone calls. Your phone usage might not be as surveyed as your internet use, but your work output will be a good indication of how much real work you’re really doing every time the boss walks by and sees you twirling the phone cord around your finger.
5) Begin to gather all of your personal items from your personal space and plan to bring them home as quickly as possible. As the days count down to your final last one, the more likely it will be that random people will be using your desk and work area. Whether it is to prepare the filing cabinet for the next person to take your position or it is to work with you to update themselves on your personal task management status, your employer or fellow employees will need to get into your office or cubicle to work at some time or another. Be sure, and this goes for after you leave for good, as well, that you take home all of your belongings. Not only do you want the area to remain as professional and organized as possible, but also do you really want your coworkers looking at your address book, hand lotion and collection of candy you’ve been hoarding in that drawer for the past two years now? I should think not. Your personal items are your business, don’t make them theirs. Furthermore, do you really want their dirty hands on your candy?
6) Finally, you might want to survey all of the material you have produced yourself or filed for reference in the time you’ve spent with this employer. Whether it is corporate cheerleading guides, a list of sales leads, or cheat sheets for Microsoft Excel, there may just be some items that you will make good use of in the future. Take what you can, within reason and weight limitations, and photocopy anything real important that belongs to someone else.
Follow these steps when time to leave your job effectively and on that last day smile politely at everyone with a sorrowful “goodbye” as you try to slow your pace walking to your car, hop in the driver’s seat, blare your favorite power song and with a dainty, non-giveaway turn, floor it to the safest, highest speed and without so much as a glance behind, GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE!!