When pursuing new career opportunities, there is the temptation to cut and run, to abandon our old job without a care in the world, and just leave without saying goodbye.
This really isn't a great idea. We might never need to work for our old company again, but most industries are smaller communities than we might think.
Burning bridges can hurt us in the future once word spreads that we left our previous position in a less-than-diplomatic manner. We’ll never know, the manager we ticked off by jumping ship without a two-week notice might be hired as our new boss in the future. Here are a few basic tips that will make sure we leave an open door when we quit our job:
Patch Things Up
>Most of us won’t spend more than a month at any job without making an enemy or two. We might not be actively scheming against one another, but there's probably a guy at the office with whom you've always had some degree of friction. It may be too late to make a good first impression on this person, but it's not too late to make a good last impression. Buy them lunch, help them out with a difficult assignment, or just let them know that there is no hard feelings.
Put In Your Notice
The more time your company has to adjust to your leaving, the better. Set a date that will give your employers some time to find a replacement and line everything up, and stick to it, don't cut out a week early. Show up every day until the day of your departure, as announced in your letter of notice.
Put Forth Your Best Effort
Don't treat your last couple of weeks like a paid vacation. Take your job as seriously in your last two weeks as you took it in your first two weeks. You're not a drifter, going from job to job as the situation demands, you're building a career, and every new position is just another step on a single path.
Leave at Your Peak, Not in a Slump
It's best not to leave a bunch of failed projects in your wake. If possible, leave your job right after you've really impressed the office with your latest assignment, not after you've botched a whole string of tasks.
Be an Office Buddy
Help anyone you can during your final days, and take the time to thank your colleagues and let them know you’ve enjoyed your time working with them. Leave a positive lasting impression on the entire office. It doesn’t matter if you don’t return to this company, you never know whether you'll wind up working with these people again or relying on their recommendation for your next opportunity.
In short: just be the best employee and the best co-worker you can be in your last couple of weeks at the office. Behave just as you would if trying to impress a new employer.