How to Handle Your Last Two Weeks on the Job

workingOkay, you?ve given your two-week notice at your job. Not what? What are some of the things you should focus on? We asked a roundtable of experts. Here?s what they had to say.

Tie up loose ends. ?Wrap up all of your on-going projects. Ideally, you want to leave with the lowest number of loose ends possible, but for ongoing projects, this is the time to make sure that they’re handed off in an intelligible and business-friendly manner,?explains career coach/success strategist Carlota Zimmerman. ?This process should also include introducing, at least by email, your (soon-to-be-former) colleagues to whomever they will have to speak with at outside companies and groups. There’s nothing more guaranteed to end up with your colleagues long-lasting spite, than leaving projects undone, and no one knows who is responsible. The business world is small. Don’t sabotage your future.?

Get your replacement ready. ?Prepare the individual(s) who will take over your role. Write up “how to guides” and tips that can be used for reference after you leave. Then, sit down and train the individual(s) who will be taking over your responsibilities. Even if you don’t wish your company or your manager well, remember that the colleague you help today may refer you to an opportunity in the future,? offers career coach and forme HR pro Robin Sendrow, founder of JobSparker, a new goal-setting career platform called jobsparker .com.

Keep it positive.
?I’m a strong believer that no good comes from trashing the company on the way out the door. If you have a major concern, it’s okay to share it with HR or your manager, but try to stick to the facts and come at it from a positive perspective (?I see a few opportunities for the future? vs. ?this is a terrible place, and here’s why?). People have long memories, so keeping it classy is (almost) always the better option,? says Sendrow.

Socialize with your co-workers.
?Take some time to connect with the people who helped you: take them out to lunch, or drinks, let them know how much they helped you, and that you hope to stay in touch. Again, you’re leaving a company, not the planet. News, and people, have a way of getting around, and an ungraceful exit, can really catch up to you if, for example, you snubbed the young woman who always helped you make your deadlines…and a few years down the road, when you find your perfect job, whoops her sister is CEO,? ?Zimmerman points out.

Get the most out of your exit interview.
?Don?t use the exit interview as a griping session. You may want to get some things off your chest before you leave, but it?s best to save your venting for people in your personal network. Do your best to leave on a positive note,? says ?career coach Cheryl E. Palmer, owner of Call to Career.