NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- The job market may be better now than during the peak of the recession, but that doesn't mean workers should feel too confident about quitting their job abruptly without having something else lined up.

"Right now, we are still in an economy where you really need to look for other jobs before you leave," said Samantha Zupan, spokeswoman for Glassdoor.com, a job search engine. Unemployment is stuck above 9% with nearly 14 million Americans out of work and eager to land whatever few jobs are out there. That doesn't mean quitting is completely off the table, but as Zupan puts it, "you really need to do your homework before you quit."

With that in mind, MainStreet spoke with several career experts to find out just what that homework is. If you are considering quitting, these are the steps that you should follow before, during and immediately after you give notice to your employer.

Be honest with yourself
Perhaps more than anything else, employees need to be honest with themselves about their motivations for wanting to leave. While there are legitimate reasons for quitting a job -- if it interferes too much with your family obligations or proves so stressful that it negatively impacts your health -- some argue employees often look for an exit for the wrong reasons.

"In general, people quit their jobs because they are delusional and think they need more time for something, like writing a novel or traveling," says Penelope Trunk, a popular business blogger and CEO of the Brazen Careerist. "These are not actually good reasons to quit your job." Instead, she argues that these workers should be more realistic about how much time they need to pursue these passions and figure out a way to do so on the side.

Consult with your boss and HR
If you continue to feel strongly about quitting your job for these or any other reasons, your first step should be consulting with your friends, family and close co-workers to get feedback on your concerns before you make any decisions. Should they agree that your problems warrant taking action, Zupan argues the best thing to do next is schedule a meeting with your boss or human resources.

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