Suddenly, it seems safe to quit a job again.

It’s only Tuesday and already two dramatic exit strategies have captivated our attention. Exit

First, there was the flight attendant who quit with a little bit of profanity and drama—grabbing a couple of beers and activating the exit slide on the jet way is guaranteed to make the press.

Then there was the employee who quit by sending an e-mail that exposed her boss—his reputed loose tongue and his web surfing habits--via a series of photos telling a story via dry erase board.(It turned out to be a hoax; the girl was an actress hired by the website The Chive.)

Both of these individuals already have garnered more Facebook “likes” for their efforts than most of us will in a lifetime. It will be interesting to see where they land. (I predict jail and then a reality show for the flight attendant.)

All of this makes me wonder: What’s the right way to exit a job?

The vision of "how I am going to quit" can make a great discussion topic. My mom and I laughed until it hurt while reading "And Then We Came to the End" when a co-worker left a piece of sushi behind in a hidden office space upon departure) But in reality, I don't think it's practical. Would you hire an employee who exposed her boss online? Would you trust her to handle matters requiring discretion and confidentiality?

I’ve always advocated for the ethical straight-forward approach: following employer conventions and requests on advance notice, and leaving clear instructions for the next person to occupy your seat. I've actually heard it said that we would have gone back to the moon by now if NASA had kept better notes on how we managed to land there before. Did you know one of the Apollo tapes was accidentally recorded over?

I believe that how you leave a job says as much about your professionalism as how you land your next one. Even if a job hasn’t been a pleasant experience, leaving is generally an opportunity to practice grace.After all, if you are headed towards a better fit—why dwell on a bad one? Or leave room for a bad recommendation later?

Recognizing that there are “50 Ways to Leave Your Employer,” what is your take on the exit strategy for the less-than-perfect job?


P.S. If you need help with your own exit strategy, let me know how I can help.