When you’re finishing up with one employer and getting ready to start your next adventure it’s easy to loose productivity and mentally switch off. But it's really important to maintain a positive relationship with your employer and colleagues, and ensure a smooth transition for your replacement.
Don’t fall into the trap of making these 5 mistakes in your last week and leaving a sour taste in everyone’s mouth.
1. Don't slack off
It might be your last week, but the company you’re leaving will be forging ahead with all its usual projects and activities long after you've gone. It might be hard to maintain focus and be productive, but your (soon to be ex-) colleagues will be counting on you until you walk out the door that last time.
Surfing the internet, distracting colleagues and generally slacking off are not good ways to spend your last week. If you’ve done everything you need to, set yourself some small goals to help your replacement or a colleague get ahead with something. If you really have nothing to do, speak to your manager, it might be best for you to finish up a few days earlier rather than just hanging around.
2. Don’t make copies of, or reveal, confidential information
Confidential information is just that – confidential. And it should be kept so.
Remember that you don’t have a right to any confidential information of your employer, even if you created it. It’s not OK to make copies of documents, or disclose otherwise unknown information to outside sources.
In defence industry it’s especially important to honour any confidentiality requirements, many of which extend to post-employment, so be careful to honour this important rule right to the end.
3. Don't discuss your new opportunity… continuously
Changing jobs is one of the biggest changes we can make in life. Whilst it will be exciting for you, those around you may not feel the same. Keep in mind that you leaving is likely to increase your colleagues’ workloads and mean they have to work with someone new. Don’t be surprised if they don’t share your enthusiasm. Of course, if people ask questions you should answer them but don’t discuss your new role continuously.
4. Don’t forget to get all your ducks in a row
This means completing all your separation paperwork, leaving a copy of current contact details and returning all company property safely and on time. There’s a lot of admin that goes into offboarding a staff member, so try to make it as easy for your employer as possible.
5. Don't burn bridges
Part of seeing your commitment out right through until the end is maintaining your professionalism. Maintaining a good reputation is vital in any industry, but especially in defence industry because it’s so small and close-knit.
It’s best to avoid saying or doing anything that would damage your reputation with your current employer, including bad-mouthing or ranting about them in general. We get it, you’re leaving, but in defence industry word gets around and you never know who you’ll need a reference or good word from in the future.
Keep in mind, you’ll be remembered by how you finished the race, not how you started so make sure you wrap things up with class.