Treat Your Last Day Like It's Your First Day

by Brian Dobak
August 29, 2011

So you're getting ready to leave a job that you have been in for a few years. Your last day is fast approaching, and you're following through on some initiatives. One of your colleagues asks you why you are doing the things you are doing and that you shouldn't care anymore since you'll be gone in just a few days. Your response should be: “I am responsible until the moment arrives when I am no longer an employee here”.

There is a lot of emphasis on how to start a job, and how to get off on the right foot with your new colleagues. We have even posted a few articles on how to effectively start a job. But what about ending a job? How important is it to end your job smoothly? It should be regarded just as highly as starting a job. Just because you have two weeks left, it doesn’t give you an excuse to gear down and shut your systems off. Coasting is not an option and you still have a job to do. Keep your service levels up and your effort strong and consistent. Treat your last day like it is your first day. You probably began your job strong. FINISH STRONG.

Begin the process by telling members of your departure so your absence is not a surprise. Ask your Head Professional if he/she will help in that process. The following shouldn’t happen:

A few weeks go by and Mr. Davis all of a sudden notices that he has hasn’t seen one of his favorite assistants John in a while, Mr. Davis inquires of this and a staff member informs him of Johns departure a few weeks ago.

This makes John look bad, but it also makes the staff look bad as well. Communication is critical, even in a situation having to do with a staff member leaving.

If you're leaving in a few weeks, take the necessary steps to ensure that your responsibilities are not only passed along, but the successor of the responsibilities is properly and thoroughly trained. Just like you will move on without the facility, the facility will move on without you. It is your responsibility to see to it that your successor is briefed on your responsibilities and trained.

Continue to work hard. Don’t have the attitude of, “I am leaving in three days, don’t ask me” or “My last day is Monday, I don’t care”. You are still an employee and still a golf professional, act like it and hold yourself accountable to the very end.

If a member knows you will be leaving in two weeks, he/she may be less apt to approach you for help with something. Be proactive and don’t let this happen. Make members aware that you are still there and would be HAPPY to help in any way possible.

Getting relaxed at the end could be detrimental to you. You could have done a stellar job for three years at the club, but don’t get lazy at the end or the reputation and position you built with colleagues and members could be torn down. What can take a few years to build can be torn down in just a few weeks.