What do you do when your work bestie gets a new job?

At some point in our lives, we have all had a work bestie. That one person who listens to your rants, understands your Netflix references and makes work that little bit more fun. 

So, what do you do when they announce they are leaving?

I can tell you from experience, these are the first 5 thoughts that enter your head.

  1. Ha ha very funny.
  2. Wait… you’re serious?
  3. How could you abandon me like this?
  4. What am I going to do without you?
  5. Despite thoughts 1-4, this is a great opportunity and I’m happy for you.

Once the initial shock passes, you’re left with the reality of the situation that soon enough, you’ll be signing their good luck card and waving bon voyage as they walk out of the office for the last time.

This is when the grieving process sets in:

  • Denial – It’s months until you leave, nothing needs to change yet.
  • Hiding behind humour – Replying ‘Sorry, who are you again?’ to their emails.
  • Sadness – Nobody will understand my references like you. (Cue the sad music and staring dramatically out of a window at the rain.)
  • Reality - People move on, and you need to do the same.

The first step is adjusting to work without them. It’s a good idea to diversify your office social life – nobody wants to spend lunch eating in a toilet cubicle like the start of Mean Girls.

You have an opportunity to get to know your other colleagues a little better and might be surprised about how much you have in common. Think of it like an episode of ‘The Bachelor’ - hand out your roses to potentials and one lucky colleague gets your friendship at the end. (Probably best not to tell your colleagues that you’re doing this though.)

It’s also key to remember that your office bestie leaving isn’t completely a bad thing. Chances are you’ll stay friends outside of work, so you still have someone to spill all the gossip to over coffee.

You also have a potential networking opportunity as you now have a contact at a new company. Your bestie leaving could open new doors for you and help you to excel at work.

Conversely, your bestie leaving may cause you to rethink your own situation.

Maybe you’ve realised that the only thing keeping you in your current role were the social ties. Or the only part of your day you enjoyed were your morning coffee and gossip breaks. If this is the case, then maybe your bestie realising it’s time to move on is the inspiration you need to do the same.

However, remember not to be too hasty to type up that resignation letter! You need to give the dust a chance to settle. Things might seem brighter once you’ve got over the initial period without them. You’ll see that you actually like your job - you just missed your bestie.

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