Tell Your Manager First
"Don't get into reasons in your resignation letter. Just tell them your effective date and sign off," Deborah Brown-Volkman, career coach and author of the upcoming book "Don't Blow It: The Right Words for the Right Job," told eWEEK. Give Notice to the Right People FirstThe right way is to tell your supervisor or immediate manager first because you cannot undo the damage wrought by them hearing it first from someone else. Be Prepared for a Counter Offer You're current employer may surprise you and offer you something extra if you stay, which is why it is especially important not to give them any reasons for leaving that may not be true. "Every organization is different about this. Some have strong philosophies that if you resign, you've resigned. But others may try to negotiate you back in the door, which is why if you tell people you're leaving for more money, but it is really more than that, you could be stuck if they do offer you more," Bosse said. Stay for Your Two Weeks Notice Quite often, a new job will be gunning for you to start and will ask if you can do so before your proper notice period has expired (typically, however many vacation days you get per year), but the experts warn against this. In fact, they say giving very little or no notice is the absolutely worst thing exiting employees can do. "You put someone in with your best clients, and they're in the middle of their project when they get a better deal and leave with one day's notice. Anyone can get a better offer. I'd be reluctant to hire someone who didn't give appropriate notice and left their project in a lurch. You put your next project at risk," Jack Harrington, co-founder and principal of AAI, a provider of IT staffing solutions, told eWEEK. Work Out Your Transition Plan After formally resigning, do what you can to ease the transition for your company between you and the person who will replace you, as your goal is to leave in good standing. "This can be great for techies who are used to thinking about process. Make a list of everything you do and put it in a spreadsheet; be project-oriented," Brown-Volkman said. This may even involve suggesting a replacement, if you know of someone who is interested. "What's great about the tech world is that it's likely they know other people who might be good for the job," said Brown-Volkman. "If you can get a replacement for your job, someone you know and can make a recommendation and easier transition with, you'll help your employer out a lot, who is worried about finding and training someone new." Leave in Good Standing Finally, right through your last day of work, it is important to not start napping on the job, not be mentally "checked out" and not show any disdain for a job you won't have much longer. "Say goodbye to everyone, whether you got along with them or not. This is your chance for closure. You don't know what will happen. You may want to make sure you can resolve what you can," said Brown-Volkman. Others sum it up more concisely: "Never compromise your values when you leave," said Bosse.
As tempting as it will be to tell your buddy in the next cube that you're leaving for greener pastures the moment you get your offer letter, it is the wrong order of operations.