Tell your manager first
She should be the first person to know—you can tell HR and your work friends after. Set up a time to speak in person, and start by telling her that you’ve received a job offer. She may make a counteroffer, in which case you can consider whether you’d really like to leave the company or not.
Keep it positive
Even if you didn’t enjoy your time at the company, tell your manager that you had a great experience and you learned a lot, but that this move is best for your career trajectory. The same rule applies to telling your co-workers and completing your exit interview—keep your story consistent and positive.
Offer at least two weeks’ notice
Most jobs expect at least that much time before you leave. Find out if your future employer is flexible with your start date. The goal is to make the transition as seamless as possible for your current employer, so if you need more time to wrap up projects, take an extra week or two.
Help with the transition
Complete as much work as possible before you leave. Write down details like important deadlines, notes about clients, contact information—anything your replacement will need in order to pick up where you left off. Organize all papers and electronic files so that they can easily be found. Do what you can to foresee potential questions, and make the answers readily available.
Give handwritten thank you notes
Write notes to your manager, mentors, people you managed and anyone you worked with closely. Talk about how much you enjoyed working with them and mention what you learned from them and your appreciation for their work. Include your personal contact information and ask to stay in touch.
Image by Tom Munro for Harper’s Bazaar UK.