There sure is a lot of quitting going on! Whether you're a terribly disgruntled Taco Bell employee who took it out on a sign or just a normal schmo, the mini-thaw—possibly the New York-only thaw?—of the great recession allows people to actually leave jobs sometimes. But we're all a little rusty! Let's brush up.
• Don't issue an ultimatum to your employers, like former interim Nationals manager Jim Riggleman did, offering two hours of turn-around time before he walked. (It took him like a whole month to find a job; you might not be so lucky.) I mean, sure, you're allowed to walk off the job! But if you're gonna walk, just do it. Go now! Take your wallet!
• You'll do better if you hear out a counteroffer! You go to your boss and say this: "Hey, Jane, I asked to see you today because I have a job offer that I really like. While I really enjoy it here, I'm inclined to take it. I need to let them know by Friday." Then you sit there in silence. Don't volunteer info! Don't narc yourself out here about your new offered pay, your job, the specifics, etc. And you don't talk to your boss before you have this offer in hand. This goes for whether you work at Taco Bell or in some office!
• Politely accept or decline any raises or offers. But don't believe any promises. "If you stick around, when Sean leaves, I can give you his position." That is almost always a fool's game. DON'T BELIEVE.
• Baffled? Look inside yourself! Make lists! Call your mother! You know the answer to staying or going inside yourself. Don't panic.
So You Quit!
• Give notice in writing. Like, type something and print it out!
• Then you can do this crucial step: inform stakeholders! Many of us work with lots of people! Vendors, clients, coworkers, people in the field. These are people need to be brought up to speed when your decision is final. A great way to maintain relationships is to call up people (on the phone, even!) and tell them what's going on.
• Inform the good friends who haven't been your sounding boards in your decision.
• Then you can inform the media and/or Facebook, should you wish, which can be responsible for informing acquaintances and people you haven't talked to since high school!
• Early on in your transition planning, schedule a minimum of one week between jobs, unless you're penniless. Better: three weeks. This is the only real luxury of quitting jobs. No one does this anymore hardly, and it's terrible. Guess what: your new job wants you! That's why they hired you! Give them a start date.
• And the time you have left at your old job is so much shorter than the endless amount of time it sounds like. This is going to be all time devoted to organizing your ongoing projects in ways that are helpful to the people who are going to take them over. Start by making a list of all your current projects. Then take a deep dive through your email, printing out relevant documents! Make folders—actual real-world folders, not computer folders! If you get all this done in the first few days, then you can spend the rest of your remaining time just goofing off and going to lunch.
I'm real rusty on this myself. What did I forget?