So you’ve done it! You’ve put in your two weeks notice. You’re happy about your decision and ready for a new challenge, but there’s still one thing to consider. Your current employer. No matter why you’re leaving, they deserve a few things before you leave them with extra work and no direction.
Leaving a job voluntarily is usually a very exciting, maybe nerve-wracking, time for you, but there are a few things you should always do after you’ve put in your two weeks notice. (And yes, you should always give a two weeks notice—professional courtesy.)
Even if you’re leaving on a sour note, there has to be at least one person you want to thank and show your appreciation for your time there.
Hand-write thank you notes, send a thoughtful email, or just find open time in their calendar to meet with them and remind them how much they have helped you in your career. Even managers like to hear that you have grown due partially to what they have allowed you to be a part of.
Companies will typically have an exit interview done with an HR manager, this is your time to be completely honest about why you have chosen to leave.
You might be putting in notice to leave for another job, personal reasons, moving, or just because you’re not happy in your current role. This last one is the one the company is most concerned about. Now is the time for you to voice your opinions, in a constructive way. Don’t use your time to bash your manager or coworkers. Instead use it to tell HR what you didn’t like and how you would change it. Think about the person (or people) coming in after you. Do it for them.
It’s your last two weeks, so naturally there won’t be much for you to do, but that’s not an excuse to do nothing—I mean they are still paying you.
Make sure all your projects and responsibilities have been taken care of and the new point person doesn’t have any questions. Go through your emails to ensure you have answered everything you need to, and forwarded anything that needs to be.
Whether you are leaving on a positive or negative note, leaving a job voluntarily gives you the power to make it easy or hard for your former coworkers to do their job, plus take on your responsibilities before a replacement has been hired. You may not want to burn those bridges just yet. Do what you can to make for a smooth transition, not just because it’s the right thing to do, but do it because you will feel better about it.