Well it figures — now that you've settled into your new job, the offer you really wanted comes through. Do you give two-weeks notice at the gig you've had for two weeks? Or do you turn down the better job you'd rather jump on?
Assuming you haven't signed an employment contract at your new gig, you can give notice at any time and accept another offer. “Life is long, and the right answer is the right answer, no matter how unpleasant it will feel to have to break the news to your temporary manager,” explains Liz Ryan in her Bloomberg Businessweek article, Starting a Job While Still Looking. Ryan points out that, without a signed contract, you don't have any guarantee that your new employer will keep you long-term, either.
On the other hand, a resume full of impressive roles you churned through is not so impressive to future employers, so don't let job hopper be the message your resume is sending. Also keep in mind that regardless of how tactfully you try to leave your company, the bridges for future employment there still could be burned. And on a more personal level, your employer and friendly new colleagues might not want to stay in touch after you leave.
If you're still ready to accept the new and improved job offer, try to resign from your current role as professionally as possible. A few best practices can help you leave on better terms:
Resign in person: I once had an employee who started on Monday email me on Friday to call it quits. Had he approached me in person, I would have respected his decision to back out of a role that didn't suit him. Instead, his email resignation came off as immature and unprofessional.
Be honest and apologetic: Business is business. Your employer should respect your career decisions, even if it means she'll be hunting for your replacement. Your honesty increases your chances of leaving on good terms.
Give notice: Out of courtesy to your employer, you should still give adequate notice, but don't expect the company to keep you around for another two weeks. When I left a position I'd held for only three months, my employers passed on my two weeks notice and had me clean out the desk the same day.
Tidy up: Even if you have no desire to speak to any of your colleagues or current employer again, they'll still be talking to other people in your network. Help make the transition easier for your replacement by finalizing any current projects or paperwork and leaving a clean office area for the person who takes over. You might not be leaving on the best terms, but you don't want to leave on the worst, either.
What other suggestion do you have for resigning from a new job to accept a better offer? Let us know in the comments.