How to Handle the Last Two Weeks at a Job
Your final two weeks at a job are the best chance to make everyone remember how amazing you really are. Don't blow it!
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Hands down, one of the most satisfying feelings as a professional is when you spend your last two weeks at a job, before leaving for greener pastures. Those last two weeks should be a time when you make the rounds, take lunches with colleagues, and make sure people only have this to say: “Gosh, I’ll really miss him/her!”
However, not everyone quite grasps the concept of making a proper exit. Some people improperly take advantage of those final two weeks (call in sick, “cough-cough”), to play golf three days straight, and do everything but leave with a mannerly image in their coworkers’ minds. So before you skip out of town for that corner office of your dreams, make sure those last two weeks aren’t spent lighting matches to burn all previous bridges.
Tip #1: Properly Network
The last thing you should ever do for your last two weeks is sit idle and watch the clock tick away. Even though you’re leaving with no strings attached, and hopefully no bad reputation hanging over your head, that doesn't mean you can’t build on your existing relationships for the future. To do this, you have to network. Now, when I say network I don’t mean hustling for deals or trying to “make moves” with your soon-to-be ex-coworkers—that could be perceived as shady. By properly networking, I mean ensuring your buddies at the office know how much you valued their work and their expertise, and how much you do hope to continue your relationship.
However, even though I say that it’s proper to network with your colleagues before you leave, there is a “line” that can be crossed to make it appear you are digging for “inside scoops.” Take Tom, who before leaving his job, figured he’d hit up his coworkers on what they were planning to purchase for the rest of the year ... from a contracting company where he was starting a new job. After two people had a conversation with the CEO about Tom’s rather odd behavior, he was kindly asked to leave a few days early. Not exactly a proper way to leave a mark. If you spend your last weeks at the job sneakily fishing for anything other than goodwill and laughter you’ll come up as slimy, creepy, and a total turnoff.
Had Tom simply taken a more casual approach to show his interest in his colleagues’ work and to learn more, maybe they would remember Tom’s kindness when he comes knocking in a few weeks time with a brand new business card and elevator pitch.
Tip #2: Do Lunches … a LOT of Lunches
As I said in Tip #1, your last two weeks at your job are a time to mend all ties, laugh it up with friends, and be the social bumblebee you’ve always wanted to be. Sitting back in your cube or office will get you nowhere. Think about it, you have two weeks left at the job, what could you possibly have to do aside from clean up? Sure, you want to be a good worker and not leave a ton of work for others, but what about the other 7-8 hours out of the day? For your last two weeks—even if you didn’t before—you absolutely have time for lunches. If you don’t take lunches in your last two weeks it will make people think you weren’t “too busy” to bond with them in the past, but that you never wanted to do it in the first place.