How to Survive the Last Two Weeks of an Old Job

by Maria Christensen

Patience is a virtue, but one that might be sorely tested when you're trying to get through the last two weeks of a job. With an end date to your employment just in sight, it might be tempting to coast through your last two weeks. But there are advantages to maintaining professionalism -- and avoiding burning bridges -- in your remaining time, including getting a reference for future jobs. Keeping busy and focused on the tasks at hand can help.

Be Professional

Even if you hated your job, this is not the time to let it show. Wrap up any tasks or projects you've been working on. Offer to help hire or train your replacement. If that's not possible, write up a narrative or task list of your main job duties and give it to your supervisor to help ease later transitions, display your responsibility and show that you took your position seriously. If you haven't already turned in a written resignation, do so as soon as possible. Keep the tone positive and include a simple statement thanking the company for the opportunity.


Regardless of your reason for leaving the job and where you're going next, spend some time taking care of details that can affect you financially. If you have health insurance through your company, think about how to continue coverage, whether through a new employer, a COBRA plan that allows you to continue your old coverage by paying the premiums, or purchasing your own plan. Some retirement plans are simple to roll over into new ones, while others take a bit more planning, and all have federal regulations that must be followed. Make an appointment to meet with the person who handles benefits administration for your company to discuss all of your options.

Think Ahead

Some of your coworkers might ask why you're leaving the company. If you've had a good experience and are just moving on to a better opportunity, it's fine to say so, but if you can't wait to walk out the door, it's usually better to keep that to yourself. Former coworkers can turn into future job references and you may want to consider them as part of your professional network. If you find that finishing your own projects is leaving you with too much time on your hands, offer to help coworkers with their tasks. You might also want to take this opportunity to update your resume while your accomplishments are fresh in your mind.

The Exit Interview

If your company performs exit interviews with outgoing employees, plan what you want to say ahead of time. You want to be honest, but it might be a good idea to avoid too much negativity in your responses. Exit interviews are designed to determine why employees leave a company and if there are any areas that need improvement. Try to be tactful and objective if you plan to offer criticism.

About the Author

Since 1997, Maria Christensen has written about business, history, food, culture and travel for diverse publications, including the "Savannah Morning News" and "Art Voices Magazine." She authored a guidebook to Seattle and works as the business team lead for a software company. Christensen studied communications at the University of Washington and history at Armstrong Atlantic State University.

Photo Credits

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