Your last day …

It is finally here, your last day in your old job. You’ve arrived at the office at the normal time, you have mixed emotions about leaving all your fabulous colleagues and leaping into the vast unknown, to swap office expert status for the new person on the block. Have you made the right decision?

If this is the first time you have seriously sat down and asked yourself this question since going through the resignation process then it is fair to assume that, yes, you have made the right choice and that this is the work equivalent to pre-wedding nerves. Changing jobs is a massive step and don’t underestimate the range of emotions you can experience as you go through this transition in your life. Accept the different waves of feelings, see them all as part of the process and allow them to move through you as quickly as possible. Whatever you do don’t act on them. If you start to feel particularly shaky then promise yourself to sleep on it over the weekend (most people leave on a Friday) and then think about your decision again next week.

Your colleagues may also be feeling emotional. They might well have bought you a leaving gift, there is frequently a card and if you are very valued by your co-workers there can also be a speech. All of these things can make you feel very much part of the team you are just about to leave and extremely jittery. Is this how you felt when you left home? Was that the right decision? Have you felt this way at any other time? What was the outcome of that situation?

One thing that might also happen is an invite to the pub at lunchtime for ‘leaving drinks’. A wonderful way to say farewell this can have mixed results. Alcohol is a depressant, lunchtime drinks somehow seem more potent than their late afternoon and evening counterparts and combined with high emotions can be a recipe for disaster. It is unlikely that your boss will expect much work or productivity from you on your last afternoon and it is almost unheard of that you will be restricted to taking your lunch break in a one hour window, so having one drink shouldn’t hurt … or will it? We have all seen the teary drunk and been on the receiving end of the inebriated colleague that ‘has always loved us’ but do you want to be that person? Needing to drive home later is a good way to cover only having one and stopping well meaning and generous work friends from lining up a bar load of trouble for you.

When you return to the office make sure you have packed all your personal belongings and unpacked all of the Company’s possessions back into their safe keeping. If you have anything of value like a laptop make sure someone signs to say they have received it back. The same with your Company car; get someone to verify the mileage and check the bodywork. Ask what to do about your email; should you put up an out of office saying you are no longer with the Company and to contact Jo Bloggs in Accounts? Then head around and say your goodbyes, trying to bear in mind that for everyone else it is business as usual and some people are working to deadlines.

Head high, tears and emotional statements to the minimum leave the building. Remember this is not the end. You will see some of these people again in a social setting and most importantly this is the beginning of your new career chapter. Good luck!

For help managing your career or making the transition from where you are to where you want to be please contact one of our Consultant Coaches at

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