Most of us, at one point in our career, fantasize about quitting a job in a bombastic, dramatic, or humorous fashion. Remember the Jerry Maguire mission statement about the sports agencies? Or, how about the “I quit song” from the movie, “That Thing You Do?” How liberating to leave in a blaze of glory! Acting out this fantasy can be a career-ending move.
Two words of advice for you: be diplomatic. It is cliché but true…you never know when you will cross paths with someone again. In 2012, we can add to that and say that you never know when, but you know you WILL cross paths again. With the ease of online networking, people from your past remain connected with you forever and interconnect with others exponentially.
You accepted your new dream job. The first step is to advise your current direct supervisor. Offer your employer advance notice of your termination. Depending on your level of responsibility, this could be two or more weeks. Share the news with your direct manager in person and present a professional letter of resignation during that meeting. Write and say only positive things.
After that you can tell colleagues and department staff. Your message is the same for everyone. You will miss the company, you enjoyed your time with the company, you learned a great deal, and you wish them all the best. If asked why you are leaving, keep the answer simple. You are moving to a new opportunity. Avoid any negative comments. Don’t get dragged into any drama by disgruntled employees.
Be careful about leaving digital dirt. Avoid blasting your employer on YouTube, Facebook, twitter, blog, email, or any other means. Even if this does not go viral, it will haunt you later. In recent news, we’ve seen the example of the Goldman Sacks executive who left in a dramatic fashion. While some cheered for the employee who stood up to the powerful employer, in the long run an exit like this has the potential to be a career-ending move.