Advice column: I'm being given even more work since handing in my notice

Dear Ash

I have recently resigned from my job after months of being really unhappy in my role. I have a new job to go to and I’m really looking forward to it, but am feeling under immense pressure from my current employer to attend to what they say are “urgent” matters. The relationship with my manager was never great and this is mainly why I decided to look elsewhere, but perhaps naively I expected some of the pressure to come off once I tendered my resignation – if anything my manager seems to be offloading even more work onto me now with impossible deadlines. I have a three-month notice period; I am dreading the coming weeks and wish I could just leave early! 

Ash replies:

I wonder if part of the reaction from your employer is their way of expressing some resentment at your decision to leave. In any case, I would not spend too much time dwelling on their reasons. Instead you should continue to act in a professional and efficient manner, but at the same time if you do consider that the timescales for work being set are not realistic, then feel free to make this clear to your manager. As long as you are able to maintain a reasonable degree of efficiency towards your work, you cannot be expected to finish everything before you leave.

If you are unhappy and if there is a possibility of your new employer being able to take you on earlier, it may be worthwhile also speaking to your manager about potentially reducing your notice period. If there are no critical business reasons for you to be kept on by your current employer, they should at least consider allowing you to move on earlier.

The next few weeks may indeed be challenging but you need to try to focus on the end goal. You clearly have a new and exciting position to go to and you should not concern yourself too much with the current situation. Whatever happens, try to leave on a positive note as it is not only important from a professional perspective but also for you personally, as it will be better for you to leave with the minimum of negativity and with your head held high.

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