Leaving a workplace is a solo mission. It’s personal. You leave mentally way before you physically hand in your resignation. You struggle with “trying to make the best of it” for a while. When that fails, you start looking around for other jobs. All the while you may have many “allies” who feel the same way about your workplace. You spur each other on. “We are all going to get out of here” you think, like you’re escaping some kind of prison.
Once you do hand in your resignation, you become a pariah. An outcast. No matter how valid your reasons for leaving or what issues exist, you have chosen to leave. Your future now diverges from the future of every other person that chooses to stay. Your former allies now form new alliances. You are excluded from plans and discussions of the future. It’s not a one-way exclusion other. You also remove yourself from discussions and from “caring” too much about anything. Writing crappy code? Go for it. Hiring stupid people? Champion! It’s like watching the makings of a train wreck which you won’t be there to witness.
As the person who’s leaving for either a new opportunity (or just a change as is my case), you start to live your life with more hope of a brighter and different future. It’s still sad to leave the people you’ve worked with for so many months, behind.
One of the worst things is having to wait out your resignation period before heading off. It would be wonderful if you could just hand in your resignation and be done with it. Have some instant closure. But that’s not the case usually. For me, it’s a six week period of total agony and boredom. All the while witnessing continual reinforcement of the reasons that lead to this decision.