There is a reason for the term “short-timer.” Whether you are in the military and ready to separate, or in the corporate world and ready to leave your job, it can be a struggle to keep both your body and mind engaged. Related: 6 Ways To Avoid Burning Bridges By Leaving A Job We're notorious for apathy, disregard, and detachment once the decision to move on has been made. In fact, some short-timers have been known to toss all workplace standards out the door. They begin showing up late, conduct long personal phone calls, and have a blatantly disrespectful attitude. We’ve all seen this (and maybe we’ve even done it ourselves). Is being a short-timer really that bad? In a word: YES. Our professional and personal brand is showing all the time, not just when we are in the middle of a job, but also as we make our exit. How we leave is as important to our career as how well we do when we’re fully embedded in our position. This is the time for leaving a lasting impression and making them want you to stay. Even if you hated the place and everyone in it, you never know what the future holds; so you don’t want to burn any bridges. You might want references, referrals, or even a job at some point. Why do we become short-timers? Interesting situation, isn’t it? There are really two forms of change. One form is the actual act, like leaving your job or moving. The other form is the internal transition or emotional component. These two forms of change don’t necessarily show up at the same time. When you have gone through whatever process that has led to departure, at the point you made the decision, the emotional train has left the station. You start seeing yourself as less a part of where you are and more a part of what’s to come. You start disengaging and disassociating yourself. When that happens, unless you are aware of it, the other behaviors I mentioned start creeping in because you are no longer as attached or invested.
Things To Do Before Leaving Your JobSo, how can you leave a job without burning bridges? Here are six things you can do to keep both your body and most of your mind on the job until you leave the building:
1. Be Aware Of The ShiftAs mentioned, we start shifting and disengaging. Check in with yourself or a trusted co-worker daily to stay aware and focused on your work.
2. Make A Departure PlanThe best plan will be made with your manager to incorporate what their needs are for completion and cross-training. To ensure your engagement during this time, make sure you have included things you want to accomplish before you leave. All items need dates for when you will have them done. Keep track of those dates every day.
3. Collect MaterialsSince you are leaving, think through the types of information and materials you might want to have in your next position or in the future. The types of things to consider collecting:
- Performance appraisals
- Atta-boy letters
- Copies of supporting e-mails from bosses
- Reference materials that aren’t proprietary to the company, but you may want to reuse
- E-mails and phone numbers of people you will want to keep in your networking circle