Staying with the same company throughout your entire career may sound idealistic, but is very unlikely. According to the United States Department of Labor, the average American worker has 11 jobs from age 18 to 44. Knowing this, it is important to know when and how to leave a job.
Think Long and Hard.
Making a job change is a big decision and should be done after much consideration and reflection. After determining all your options (i.e.: salary, employers, and job satisfaction) you should be ready to make your decision. Although some job offers are time sensitive, they should be given an equal evaluation. Never accept or terminate a job based on a spontaneous, irrational decision or feeling. You want to move forward knowing you weighed all the options, explored them to the fullest, and made the best decision for your future.
Keep it Classy.
When the time comes to inform your boss of your departure, do so with professionalism. While it is necessary to express your feelings about the job, especially if your feedback can improve the company, you should still approach the situation constructively. Avoid personal attacks against your boss, co-workers, or the company. By maintaining a professional and positive demeanor when giving your notice, your employer will more likely be receptive to your feedback and could remain a positive business contact.
Most businesses expect you to continue working two weeks after giving notice of leaving. If this is the case, work harder during those two weeks than you ever have before. By showing your dedication to your work, despite the fact you will be leaving soon, your employer and co-workers will develop a newfound respect for your work ethic and persistence. This attitude of perserverance is often forgotten during the stressful transition between jobs, but, if practiced, it is something that will gain you respect from peers.
Although leaving a job is oftentimes difficult, it is a part of the working world. By exploring all your options and maintaining a professional behavior, you will be able to transition from one job to the other relatively easy. The break up may come as a surprise to your boss, but your continued dedication and work ethic will leave the right lasting impression.