Stage 1: Announcement
This stage has a lot of different elements... anxiety, excitement, nervousness. Even if your job REALLY sucks, it is still difficult to walk into the boss's office and announce the intent to resign. For me, it was glorious. My boss was in Calgary, so the announcement was over phone.
I said " I need to let you know, I'm giving my notice of resignation. I have a great opportunity that I need to take"...
Stage 2: Communication Frenzy
So, after the announcement, everybody (I mean everybody) wants to talk to you. Find out where you are going, why, did you TELL them the truth about why you are leaving? This lasted several days. I gave my notice on Wednesday, so this stage ate up the remainder of the week. There is much grinning, high-fiving and congratulations during this stage. Also, I ended the week by meeting with the CIO about why I am leaving (this took 2 hours).
Stage 3: Transition
Okay, really, I began this ages ago, but, I still had some stuff to hand off to some poor slobs. This took about a half a day. Most of my time in the transition was used to go to the gym... this stage also has some aspects of stage 2 (stragglers).
Stage 4a: Clean out Desk
This runs into stage 3, and involves taking everything from your desk that you care about, and shoving it in boxes. It also involves a few trips to the stationery closet to ensure that your home stationery needs are met. Any *junk* that you don't want, you kindly give to people as gifts (such as chipped coffee mugs, and other crap).
Stage 4b: File purging
This is related to 4a, but is a sub-stage that involves dumping files in the 'shredding' bin, garbage, recycling etc. It also involves purging your data from the hard drive. This took less than a day. (I did notice today that much of my 'work' actually got deleted that may at some point be needed, but alas, I don't care).
Stage 5: Google Earth
This stage is termed such for Tenzil... he used MOST of his two weeks in this stage, I have about 2.5 days of time in this stage. It involves playing around on Google Earth and basic web surfing, magazine reading and loafing around.
Stage 6: Mild Depression/Elation/Drinking
This is when you feel mild depression at the thought of leaving a place you worked for so long, yet elation that you are going to try something new. This is a very small (one hour) section of the stage that then ends when you go out with the 'former' coworkers to end the stage with some drinking.
The following stages are Tenzil's for now, I have not reached them yet
Stage 7: Omigod... what have I done
This stage is a one day (first on the new job) where you think "What have I done, I can't do this", especially if you left a corporate job where you can disappear and do nothing to take a job where you actually have to work. This stage is short - about a day if you go somewhere good.
Stage 8: Planet Awesome
You then realize "Hey, I belong here. I can do this." You also realize that the new employer is really great. Tenzil is still in this stage.