When you are about to leave a job, it is very hard to stay motivated. This is especially true if you hate your job or your workplace, but even if you like both and are just moving on for one reason or another, it is hard to keep as focused and professional as you would normally be.
I really enjoyed my last job. It was a great workplace, my co-workers were some of the best people I’ve ever met and I thought I was very motivated to see things through to the end. I didn’t feel any resentment about leaving and also not about having to finish out my contract. But during my last weeks there, mistakes ran rampant – the quality of my work was worse than it had been when I had just started and was just learning the ropes. I felt really bad about that and tried to find help online and ended up with an overabundance of articles and blog posts that explained how to keep motivation when leaving a job, but almost all of them were focused on jobs you actively hate, such as the one Steve Roy wrote for Dumb Little Man.
His advice is good and so is most of what you find online. The rules are simple. Think about future references and how important it is to leave with the right impression. Think about your co-workers and do not leave them with a mess. Do your best not just for your employer’s benefit, but also for your own. You will feel much better if you do a good job than if you leave behind unfinished business. Therefore, also tie up all loose ends.
But all that is obvious and wasn’t that helpful to me. I tried to follow all this advice and still things just didn’t go as easy as before. What ultimately helped me stay motivated when leaving a job was forgetting about the fact that things were drawing to a close and treating everything like I would be back the next week, the next day. In my free time, I had little on my mind but a new stage of my life, but during work hours I was so focused on the job, that I managed to reduce the error rate simply by thinking that I would be the one to fix them. That might not sound very hopeful, but it helped me get through this time and make sure that after I left, everybody still hoped I was working there.