You might be leaving your job for lots of reasons - you have a new role, starting study, going on your OE, have had enough of your job or it may just not have worked out as you hoped.
Whatever the reason, how you exit your old job, is just as important as how you start a new job.
It is tempting to slack off and relax during you last few weeks at work, particularly if you dislike your job. But doing so can impact on your future prospects in ways you can't predict.
Regardless of how you feel about the company, boss or colleagues you are leaving, it is in your best interest to manage your exit positively. This applies whether you are resigning or you have to leave. You can control how you behave as you exit that business. Your notice period is your time to really show your ability to be professional, impress with your work ethic and leave with the best reputation possible.
What impression do you want your manager or your colleagues to be left with of you?
Many people feel that if they have done a great job in the past, that they can 'coast' in the last few weeks they are working. Doing this can destroy your reputation very quickly, and because it is recent, your behavior during your notice period will stick in people's minds.
A good idea is to pretend that you will be returning to that job and those people in a few months. Make sure they would welcome you back if this was true!
Plan your handover and complete tasks
What do you want to finish before you go? What do you need to handover to others? Make a list of your regular tasks and talk over with your manager how these should be handled. Figure out what you can do to make the transition of your job tasks easier and make it happen.
The easier you can make it for your boss and the person who fills your shoes, the better you will be viewed. You will also be able to leave knowing you have done what you needed to do, and can feel proud of your efforts.
Manage your networks
Decide who you want to keep in touch with and set up coffee or lunch to thank them for their support and help. Update your address book or contacts list so you can have all the numbers you need. Send emails once you start your new job, letting people know where you have gone to and organise a catch up within about 6 months to keep the relationship alive.
Make sure you keep professional at work, avoiding gossip or badmouthing people - just because you are leaving doesn't mean you can tell people what you really think of them! You never know whether that person might be a new prospective client, a future boss or relative of your new manager. Rumours of bad behavior can also follow you to your new role and impact on the opportunities you are given there.
Leave with the best exit possible
It is up to you how you want to leave your job, but remember that this is the last impression this employer will have of you. You may need them to provide you with a reference in the future, or who knows, you may want to work for them again.
Pull out all the stops, work hard and complete what you can so you can leave with your head held high. After all, it is only for a few weeks! People will remember how you left and your reputation will be intact.