How To Stay Motivated During Your Notice Period

How To Stay Motivated During Your Notice Period

Whether it’s four weeks or three months, working your notice period can be one of the least fulfilling periods of employment. But what goes around comes around and at some point, you may reap the rewards of being considered ‘a good leaver’. To help you stay motivated, follow this expert advice.

First, Know Your Rights

Assuming you’ve resigned gracefully and followed the expected protocols, you should be fully entitled to the rights laid out in your employment contract when it comes to working your notice period. Before you quit, be sure to check your contract to determine what your notice period actually is, and offer to see it through if that’s what the company wants. Remember, agreeing to work your notice period demonstrates your commitment and your professionalism – both of which are key attributes for future employers. With references still to play for, it’s important to try to leave on the best note – just don’t let your boss take advantage. If they want you gone immediately, but your start date somewhere new is yet to be confirmed, remember you’re fully entitled to stay on for the duration of your notice period – and your employer is obligated to pay you. 

Remember, It’s A Win-Win

Let’s assume your employer wants you to work your full notice period – and it’s not a short one. There are ways for it to be a positive experience all round. “For the employer, it is an opportunity to demonstrate to the team that they will be treated fairly up to their last day, preserve a good culture instead of engaging into conflict and secure strong relationships with former employees going forward,” explain the experts at LinkedIn. “At the same time, the employee can aim to preserve a good relationship to obtain references, secure a future working relationship to generate new business, and make a good and professional impression in front of the team.” Acknowledging there are two sides to this scenario will help everyone stay motivated and happy right up until the final moment: “It is normal that employees move on at some point, and seeing it as a normal step in someone's professional development is not only fair, but also helps conquer any negative emotions,” add the LinkedIn experts. “At the same time, an employee should understand that sometimes things do not work out as planned, and this can mean that they will not be able to stay.”

Ask For Direction

If you’re struggling to know which tasks to focus on now that you know you won’t be on projects long-term, it’s worth sitting down with senior members of the team to see what you should prioritise and what needs to go through a formal handover process. “Set up a meeting with your line manager to discuss priorities and organise your to-do list before you leave,” suggest the recruitment experts at Michael Page. “It may be the case that you will have a dwindling workload towards the end of your time at the company, but the earlier you have this sit down with your manager, the sooner you can begin ticking off your checklist. There’s no doubt your manager will be thankful for your willingness to help.”

Touch Base With Your Contacts

The experts will tell you it’s all too common for those working their notice period to suddenly be left out of key client meetings, or even stop being copied in on important emails. To ensure you don’t lose touch with your best contacts, use this time to let them know about your future plans – so they hear it from the horse’s mouth. “Send goodbye emails and always be complementary about your current employer while doing so,” advises Kate Allen from recruitment firm Allen Associates. “This will reflect well on both you and the employer you’re about to leave. An email like, ‘I’m leaving the lovely XYZ for a new adventure’, will do the trick.”

If you’re struggling to know which tasks to focus on now that you know you won’t be on projects long-term, it’s worth sitting down with senior members of the team to see what you should prioritise.

Tie Up Loose Ends

It should really go without saying, but ensuring you’ve completed anything outstanding before you go should be your ultimate goal. “Try your hardest to finish up projects, or at least your part in them,” agree the experts at recruitment agency Energy Resourcing. “If this isn’t possible (and often it isn’t) make sure to hand over your work correctly to your co-workers. That way, everyone on the team will be aware of who is taking on what responsibility. Part of this process could include writing up notes or transition documents. Hand over as much knowledge as possible and go the extra mile to make sure everyone is prepared for your departure. It won’t go unnoticed.”

Spring Clean Your Office Space

This might not apply so much in the age of WFH, but if there’s any tidying up to be done at the office, and specifically around your desk or cubicle, use your notice period to get on top of things. “Think of cleaning up your desk like you would think about cleaning an apartment before you move out,” say the Energy Resourcing team. “Clean from top to bottom and all around your physical space.” In addition, think about catching up on all the filing you’ve been avoiding, and empty your drawers. “Remove all your photos and personal items from your desk. Recycle old papers and files. Take home any jackets or work shoes you have lying around. Wipe down your desk and computer so that it is shiny and clean for the next person to use it. Complete all the tasks you need to before your last day,” they add.

Sort Out Your Digital Admin

In the same vein, now is the time to save all documents off your desktop into shared folders, and generally make sure your digital presence at the company is completely in order before you move on. “Delete your personal emails and files from your computer, unsubscribe from newsletters on your company email and sign out of your personal accounts,” say the Energy Resourcing experts. “Clear your browser history, and wipe your computer ready for the next person. On your last day, put an agreed ‘out of office’ message on your email and phone. And finally, don’t forget to hand in any company equipment before you leave.” Once you’ve left, update your LinkedIn profile and social media accounts to show your new company and job title – just make sure you wait until after you leave your current role so you don’t seem too eager.

Use Mornings Wisely 

Now that you’re on your way out, you may not feel the need to be at your desk quite as early as you used to be. If that’s the case, reassess your morning routine and assign some time to doing something for yourself – whether it be exercise, eating better or carving out time to read or meditate. This will help you set some boundaries during your final weeks at work, and hopefully form some healthier habits which you might be able to carry with you into your next role. That said, it’s important to keep your attendance record looking as perfect as possible – you don’t want to give your existing employer any reason to think poorly of you. 

Continue To Dress For Success

As the experts at Energy Resourcing will tell you, the last week of work can start to feel like casual Friday every day. “Avoid the temptation of fuzzy slippers and sweat pants,” they caution. “Instead of dressing down, take it to the next level. Every day of your last week of work, you should wear an outfit that screams success. It will help keep you focused on maintaining your professionalism instead of letting your focus wander to the new job ahead. It also creates a great final impression with your co-workers. As an added bonus, it prepares you for your first week in your new role. If you notice you need a new item or two, now is the time to get it before you start.”

For more information and tips on navigating a career change or new job, visit, and

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