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How to deal with the shock of a close colleague leaving your firm?

Answers (1)

    • Svetlya Anukudinova

      three men laughing while looking in the laptop inside room

      This is the harsh truth of the corporate world. Someone who has come into the organization will have to leave one day.

      Friendships at work are weird things altogether. You see your colleagues at least 5 days a week, 24/7, have meetings with them, go to picnic sometimes, discuss your work, personal life and many more things.

      Each Friday, you run your work friends with your weekend itinerary, and then you both go through the Monday Blues when everyone starts late and talks about how fast the weekend went.

      You and your colleagues (close ones) would have lunch together, sit in long and boring management meetings together, chat at work events, make coffee or tea for one another, and even support one another through stressful periods. You will slowly start getting insights into their personal life, their work aspirations, and their holiday plans too. 

      Usually, they are the ones that know you better in the stressful environment and they may share the same pressures on a different level with you.

      One day, they just walk by and tell you that they are about to leave, as they have found a better opportunity, and at that same point you feel some void in over your stomach as if someone has punched you on your tummy, and the only thing that comes out of your mouth is "huh!!!"

      No more talking about your favorite TV shows, no more work best friends. How on earth are you supposed to move forward from something like this?

      • Be happy for your friend:
        It shouldn't be something personal, but you usually do feel sad. You should feel upset, as you have spent so many good memories with your best buddy at your office. But you should also be positive for your work friend. 

        Moving to another job can be a emotional and stressful process, but the decision to resign is a really big thing. Take some time and a long breath, and say "congratulations".

        Even if you feel like they are making a huge mistake, you have to make sure that your feelings don't come into the way of your colleague. They probably have their commitments which required them to change jobs. Or they might be getting a career progression. One needs to be mindful of these things.

        Therefore, it is important to be professional and not let your emotions get in the way of congratulating them.
      • Start the handover process as soon as possible:
        There is nothing worse than having to deal with something that you are not informed about. If you are the one who will have to fill the gap between your friend and boss, then do a critical analysis of every single thing that your work friend used to do. 

        Failing to do so might make you resent them once they are gone, which will undo so much great friendships. The in-depth handover will also help you view their departure in a professional mindset, getting straight down to business.
      • Reflect on your inner self:
        Are you sad because they are going, or because you have to stay? Your colleagues shouldn't be the reason to be in a job. Sometimes it is good that your work friend has gone, and now you can also think about your career progression.

        Maybe you are now able to take a step up and take more responsibilities. You may also think about working hard for your promotion in the organization. Use your colleague's departure as a positive inspiration to move forward in your career in some way.
      • There are always other doors open. You just need to turn around to see them:
        When one door closes, there is always another one open. Try not to be sad when your best colleague leaves - instead, introduce yourself to new people within your company. 

        Start connecting after work hours with your teammates or get involved with the company's CSR work. Put yourself out there to create new connections. And if nothing else works, talk to your boss about how you feel, maybe he will ask you to hire someone new for your friend's work.
      • Don't be part of gossip:
        When people leave the organization, often others feel the need to talk about it. Although it is natural, it's not healthy.

        Sometimes people just relish drama and you will inadvertently be a part of the same. Which will not be good. Some people might try to talk bad about your best buddy, and they might try to comment on the way of working of your work friend, you should never be a part of these conversations. Be loyal and stay positive.
      • Distract your mind:
        Sometimes it could be daunting to even think that you are alone at work with all the politics that goes on in organizations. You should try and distract your mind by opting for some hobby or listening to some good music.

        Music has the ability to change a person even at the molecular level. 
      • Book a farewell party or lunch or event and keep in touch:
        Don't forget to keep in touch with your colleague - it doesn't have to be the end. You might even find you besome better friends when you remove work from the equation. 

        Organize a farewell lunch or event, so you can have one last fun memory with them at work, and make sure you make the effort to check in with them when they start their new role. 

      As they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder.

      Your friend leaving your organization doesn't mean they are not there to talk to share their wisdom with you. You can always connect with them on Social Networking Platforms like thewiki Network.

      You can also send them emails to feel as if you are still in the same company but in different departments.

      In a nutshell, moving on is the way of life and you should also try and do that when someone decides to leave. Make use of this time to enrich yourself with hobbies and upskill yourself for the next big opportunity in the organization.


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