We’ve all been in the situation where one of our favorite workmates decides to leave their job in order to pursue a different job or career path, or to make more money, or for other personal reasons. When a beloved coworker leaves, it’s natural to feel ‘caught off guard.’ If you were close to that person, it’s also natural to feel a little hurt. Someone you’ve spent every day with is suddenly not at the office, and it forces you to adjust.
There are a few things you can do to help you cope when a friend and coworker suddenly quits, which may make the transition a bit easier.
Acknowledge your feelings
There is no shame in saying you’re going to miss someone. Admit to yourself and others that you’re upset and disappointed that your friend and coworker won’t be a part of your work day anymore. As full-time employees, often we spend more time with our coworkers than our own families, so it’s only natural to feel sad or even hurt.
Don’t bad mouth your colleague for leaving to other coworkers
Chances are, you left another position at one time and you wouldn’t want someone doing the same to you. Management might be upset about your coworker quitting, but it’s not your concern. Even if you feel a little jealous about your friend getting a better position, or making more money, your main concern should be your continuing friendship, and wishing them the best. Keep in mind, you may at some point, decide to change jobs and you’ll want the support of your coworkers and friends if that day comes.
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If you know that your coworker is leaving ahead of time, throw an office party to say goodbye. This shows your coworker that you are sad that they are leaving, but you are also invested in wishing them well in the future. It also shows them that they are appreciated. A simple cake or special K-Cup drinks and a 30 minute gathering is perfect, but if you want to meet for drinks and have an informal ‘good-bye’ party, that will be a great step in continuing your friendship outside of your work environment.
Continue the friendship outside of work
Remember if you were friends at work, you can be friends outside of work. Keep in touch with the person, wish them well in their future endeavors, connect on LinkedIn and be sure to tell them you hope that everything works out for them.
Your friend and coworker who left might feel shy about keeping a friendship intact with former colleagues, and they may be unsure of how receptive their coworkers will be with their decision to quit. Calming their fears and making sure you wish them well is an important thing to do if you want to continue your friendship. Also, keeping up friendships with coworkers is always beneficial to you and your coworker for networking and potential job opportunities in the future.