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3 Ways to Deal with A Close Colleague Leaving


Regardless of whether you have a full-time or part-time job, you’ll find that you spend a considerable amount of your waking hours in the company of your colleagues. More than likely, friendships will soon blossom due to constantly being around the same people, and with 57% of workers admitting that they have a work best friend, it looks like this is correct.

Moreover, it’s suggested that forming workplace friendships provide workers with additional benefits such as an increased willingness to come to work, more enjoyment during work hours, and increased productivity. On a deeper level, your close colleagues understand the daily pressures you face at work since they share the same boss and internal frustrations – making confiding in them even more satisfying.

So, what happens when your close colleague informs you that they’ve found a new position at a different firm? Despite feeling happy for them, you may feel a sense of betrayal and wonder how you can move on. Here are several ways to deal with a close colleague leaving:

Celebrate Their Success

When a close colleague hands in their notice, it can often feel personal, although it’s not. At the end of the day, your friend has been offered a new, exciting opportunity that will most likely better their career and income, which they’ve probably desired for a long time. Of course, you’re allowed to feel sadness, but ultimately you need to be congratulatory toward your colleague and celebrate their success.

During times like this, it’s challenging not to let your emotions cloud your judgment, but it’s vital that you remain professional. You can show your support for your colleague by celebrating their success in various ways, from organizing a workplace dinner, surprising them with a hamper, after-work drinks to toast your friend, and much more.

On the other hand, if you’re looking to keep costs down, you could share a ‘wishing you the best’ message inside a greeting card, letter, or digital card using companies like Greenvelope. Regardless of the occasion, they have a range of digital cards to match that are perfect for sending well-wishes, celebrations, or support. For more information, browse their website for more ‘wishing you the best’ wording ideas, or contact a team member directly today.

Take A Moment To Regain Your Composure

Despite the happiness, you may feel for your friend finding a new job, you’re also allowed to feel upset, and you may want to take a moment to collect your thoughts. Once your colleague has broken the news to you, and the initial celebration has passed, we recommend taking yourself somewhere quiet to reflect.

You could walk around the urbanization, sit in a quiet coffee shop, or wait until you get home to sift through your thoughts. Unexpected news can often cause a whirlwind of emotions inside people, and you might be experiencing feelings that you’ve never felt about a work colleague before. You might be concerned if your friend’s responsibilities will be passed on to you or if you’ll be lonely at work in your colleague’s absence.

Even if this is the case, it’s essential to realize that any additional work you receive will be temporary until the vacancy caused by your colleague is filled. Sure, you might miss your friend initially, but you’ll soon find new work friends to share times at work with – so it’s important not to stress too much and realize that you’ll be fine even if it does feel like a massive shock at first.

Think About Your Own Career

When your work best friend informed you that they were resigning because they secured a better job, position, salary, etc., were you upset at the thought of them leaving? Or are you sad because they’re moving on and leaving you behind? If the answer to the latter question is yes, then it might do you good to think about your career and if you are happy in your current role.

People choose to stay in unfulfilling jobs for many reasons, from a fear of the unknown to the close network of colleagues they’ve built while in their current position. However, sometimes all it takes to realize that you’re unhappy in a post is for a friend to leave and that you’d like to be the next one out of that door.

Would you be happier in a different job altogether, or would you like to do the same position at another firm? Would you prefer to stay at your current job but take on more responsibility? Would you be able to fill their role if internal promotion is offered? Asking yourself these questions about your career will help you determine your next step and use your colleague’s departure to move forward in your own career.

Jeff Campbell