Some say it's never wise to accept a counteroffer, but it really depends on why you're leaving. This is another reason to understand the reasons behind your decision. "Be prepared for it [counteroffers] by knowing what it would take the current company to keep you," says Van Vreede. If money is the main reason and your company offers you what you desire, then perhaps you should consider it, but if you're leaving because you don't like the company culture or management style, than no amount of compensation will fix that.
The bottom-line: Have a straight-forward message, "I'm leaving, all ahead full." If a counteroffer is something you might consider know exactly what it will take for you to stay.
How Much Notice Should You Give
It seems like common sense, but it needs to be said: You should never walk out on a job. While conventional wisdom says two weeks, you must take into account the complexity of your position. Is this something you can turn over in two weeks? Will it take more time to find and train your replacement? "It often doesn't sit well with companies to have someone leave at a critical time--then again, sometimes that can't be helped," says Seidel, "Be prepared if you do give notice that a company may terminate you early anyway."
You don't always have the luxury of providing more than two weeks, but if it's possible than consider it. Your new employer should understand and appreciate that you are willing to go above and beyond for your former employer.
Prepare a Proper Transition
A solid transfer of knowledge will be remembered long after you've gone. "Before giving notice make a list of things to know and pass it along; the list should be one that anyone in your department can understand. This could be status reports on projects, a development punch list you're working on, notes on knowledge you may be the primary (or only) holder of," says Van Vreede.
Update Resumes and Online Profiles
If you aren't moving directly into another position then you need to consider your portfolio and online presence. "You definitely want to have your resume, cover letter, online profiles and other job search documentation completed and live before launching your job search," says Van Vreede. This will include your resume, LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+ pages. Trying to get this done after the fact could leave you scrambling.
Secure References From Colleagues