7 Things You Must do in the Last Two Weeks of an Old Job

By the dictates of business etiquette, it is industry-standard to give your employer two weeks before vacating your position. This roughly breaks down into five days devoted to online shopping, three days hiding in the bathroom or storage closet, two days dedicated to staring blankly into the meaningless void of your prior career and taking a last moment to quietly acknowledge how much of your life you’ve lost and can never get back. This then, leaves you fifteen minutes at the end of your last day to pack up your things, delete all your emails and eat a piece of cake. Or maybe you liked your job; either way, those ten last full work days often consist of a pretend display of busyness, while discreetly surfing Amazon and/or trolling your favorite My Little Pony Reddit thread.

See Also: How to Quit Your Job With Style

But, fear not. Here are seven suggestions to make your last two weeks less of a slog. Who knows you might even get something productive done. At least it is better than doing nothing.

1. Write a Letter of Recommendation

Anne Hathaway Writing Letter

Leaving a place of work can be like losing a family or ending a long term relationship with someone you didn’t like all that much but didn’t have the courage to leave because  you didn’t think you could do better; even though it turns out you can do a lot better.

Often, departing employees hand out cards or write letters to the managers who inspired them and those co-workers who didn’t steal their lunch from the fridge. While this is a nice show of gratitude, those cards and letters will end up in the bin before you’ve turned around.

Instead of writing a letter, write them a recommendation. A recommendation is a smart way to express a thankfulness with something actually useful. They can also use it on their CV and put you as a reference contact. Writing a reference letter is a classy and practical way to say goodbye and thank you.

2. Work That Network

bill murray scrooged

Think of Networking like Charles Dickens thinks of Christmas as having a past, a present, and future.

The Past

Update your social media accounts, e.g. Facebook or LinkedIn or any other digital profile you maintain on the web. Make sure each profile is up-to-date with your new work information, phone number, and email. New business etiquette says it is appropriate to publicly declare your move on social media and talk about how excited you are to be with your new employer.

The Present

The last two weeks might give yourself some perspective. Look around your office, who’s destined for greatness and who in a few months will be mopping floors at a near-by fast food stand? Now’s the time to trade business cards. Now’s the time to get linked-up and LinkedIn with the rising talent at your old workplace. Even if you weren’t personally close or located in same departments, it couldn’t hurt to extend a hand. Who knows where people will be in three years? There could be the potential for collaboration or trading industry knowledge. You might even end up working together later. The last two weeks is a great time to solidify business contacts for your future benefit.

The Future

Use Social Media to make contact with people at your new place of employment. Set up a lunch date and then pick their brain about what your new job is really like. People are much more candid with people they don’t see at work. Who knows you might start looking for a new job before you even start.

We shouldn’t have to say this but don’t mention scandalous gossip on Facebook or talk sh** about your prior employer online in any medium. It will come back to you. Besides, you don’t want to be known as the person who torched their prior employers rep at your new place of employment. It looks unprofessional and they’ll assume you’ll do the same to them.

3. Make Your Move Before You Make Your Move

Office romance

You have resisted temptation since your first day, been vigilant to keep your professional life professional and your personal life out of the lunch room gossip circle. No making eyes with the sort of-shy receptionist or flirting with that handsome guy in sales at the paper company you both worked at. That’s right, you watched The Office and you learned. You’ve dated out of your carpool and gene pool but now it’s your chance to make a move. Whether it is the office crush or the stockroom psycho, now is your chance for one final lunge at romantic glory. Be sincere, be honest and be ready for rejection. Most of all- be careful. Don’t get slapped with a harassment suit your last day on the job. We are serious about it! 

4. Break The Dress Code Like a Pretty Girl Breaks Hearts

Don Draper

With only a few days left at the job, the temptation might be to let yourself go. Casual Friday starts to look like a weeklong event celebrating comfy sweat pants and fuzzy slippers. But instead of dressing down, go the other way. Dress like you are starting your own Fortune 500 Company. 

Each day pick an outfit that screams success. It will help you stay focused and prepare you for the first week of your next job. Have a look at your wardrobe. You might find that you’re in need of a new outfit or two; well a new tie could never hurt.

5. Throw a Party...Everyday

Miley Cyrus Partying

Find one thing to celebrate each day. Reward yourself. Buy yourself a little gift, take yourself out. It could be about rewarding yourself for job you did that no one ever really acknowledged. Were you the person who cleaned out the fridge? Treat yourself with something delicious for your last day. Put up balloons, streamers and a countdown clock. While holding a press conference might be a bit presumptuous, taking time to announce your departure will give the office a reason to celebrate your contribution to their workspace and lives.

When it comes to your going away party, plan it yourself. Chances are a lunch party in most offices will be organized by either: the person who liked you the least, your closest friend, or the activity person in the office who seems to involve himself in everything. So, instead, throw your own party. Hand out invitations. Invite them out to lunch or out to your favorite night spot. If you’re going to a way better job than buy them all a round. If you’re following your dream then ask them to follow yours. Ask them to check up on you online, keep them updated on what you’re doing. You never know how they might still be invested. Who knows, they may be looking to collaborating with you one day.

6. Keep Your Head Down

hiding under desk

Leaving a job can hurt feelings. Some people quit their jobs to work for a competitor, and everyone gives them the cold shoulder during their last two weeks. Usually, co-workers use this time to vent all sort of unaired grievances against the departing coworker. Haters gonna Hate. Keep it professional and keep your cool.

7. Be New

American Psycho Christian Bale

Don’t just clean out your desk, clean out your routine. Go to your new place of employment with a fresh perspective. Wake up at a different time, even if your new job’s start time is the same with your old one. Find a new coffee spot; find a new route to work. Consider different forms of transportation. Consider different places to eat lunch. Changing your routine could give you a fresh perspective on your work and your life.

See Also: How to Get a Reference Letter After Quitting Your Job

As several fortune cookies say,  you need to approach all your endeavors with integrity and you will find success in all your attempts. As these are your last two weeks at that job, you need to make sure that these are the best two weeks of your working life. However, make sure that you leave with integrity- you’ll need their recommendation letter after all.

How were your last two weeks at your old job? Let us know in the comments section below.