What to do during your notice period?

21 Oct 2022

If you’ve handed in your notice, then that means your current job is coming to an end. This means a fresh start somewhere else, and goodbyes spoken here in this space you’ve gotten so used to. 

Your last few days at your company will truly reflect who you are and your potential to your manager. So, it’s very important to reflect who you are, because you are no longer bound to impress them in any way. 

Employees from various companies have different lengths of a notice period, and it entirely depends on the company, their position, and ranking. If your notice period falls on the longer end, then you can do various things to strike a lasting impression amongst your colleagues. 

Firstly, what’s really important is the fact that once you know you’re leaving, and your last day is officially recognized, you should think about what you’re going to do after this. 

Your credibility at work depends entirely on how you perform in these last weeks, so you have to maintain a high profile.

Be professional

Avoid anything that can get you into trouble. Whatever routine you followed before handing in your notice, make sure to follow it through and through till the end. If you have expectations placed on you, discuss with your manager regarding the same and make sure you go past their expectations and perform better. 

However, if you require some time off from work, maintaining good communication with your boss is key in helping you achieve your goal.

Whether you’ve had to work with a team or if you were leading a team, make sure that you handover your duties thoroughly and make it a smoother process for anyone coming in after you. The way you manage to tie up these ends that you will be leaving behind will reflect on your professionalism. 

Another reason why there’s a notice period is that your employer perhaps wants you to complete whatever project it is that you were working on. 

However, depending on the length of your project, completing it can be a long shot. What you can do here is you can meet your replacement candidate and handover information in a one-on-one conversation. You introduce them to your team members, mentor them on finishing your tasks, and tell them everything there is to know regarding your duties. 

This handing over duty might not seem too important, however, it greatly impacts the way your managers view you as an employee. 

Gather references

From the day your notice period started, this is one of the most important things that you will need to find yourself doing. Speak to your manager, HR and other colleagues with seniority about reference letters. 

What the HR can do is write standard experience letters, which will include your date of joining, relieving and last designations. It can sometimes also include if the company is open to hiring you again in the future. 

References are handy, even if you have another job lined up, you can always use reference letters for your own benefit, which functions as a long-term investment. Also, make sure you behave respectfully because these final months are not a plain goodbye and good riddance. Don’t stay out of the office during office hours for too long, either.

Plan what comes next

Chances are, on handing in your notice, you already have another job waiting for you. But, the period of your notice is no regular time. With no added commitments, you can now focus on improving skills that you can hone. 

Finally, you may choose to upgrade your skills or study further. Use this time to explore your options and plan your finances for the study break. If you need some off-hours on focusing on your courses or on a skill you’re working on, you can tell your manager and make it happen. 

This is precisely one of the main reasons why it is important to be on good terms with your superiors until the very end. Keep your relationship and communication with your company's HR, boss, and colleagues friendly as it is a small world and you may cross paths with some of them in the near or distant future. Practise these during your notice period and you'll leave a mark on your ex-organisation even after you move on.

Clear all pending documentations

You have to obtain a clearance certificate from your workplace. Always ensure that you keep a copy of it with yourself and that there are no dues left from where you are working. Make sure you transfer anything and everything personal like contacts, files from your office computer to your own. Also, make sure you get fresh insurance as your employer’s sponsored insurance may expire once you leave.

If you hold a PF account, transfer it or withdraw it, it is your choice. Calculate your commissions, what salary is still pending, whatever bonus is applicable, reimburse all the pending bills, and encash your leaves with your HR before you leave. 

Let’s now focus on a list of things you should NOT do:

  • Spill the beans

Don’t talk about your future plans with anyone from your current workplace. People really do not want to know about the awesome salary and your new job offer or the monthlong international vacation that you may be planning. Be polite and just smile without letting them know too much about your plans, as this might not reflect well on you.

  • Don’t badmouth anyone

Just because you can’t talk about your plans doesn’t mean you have to badmouth the present. You are intending on leaving on a good note, so it’s best to not badmouth anyone. Resist the urge to say anything negative about anyone at work, because this will not look good on you. Be the bigger person and always choose the moral high ground. 

  • Don’t take anything

Whatever company data or materials you have with you after leaving is technical ‘theft’. Whatever that is not yours, hand them over—emails, passwords, devices and this goes for documents as well. Don’t take any data with you.

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