Separation Solutions: Effective Ways to Deal With a Close Coworker Leaving for Another Job

No matter how much you’re stressed out at work, you know you can always count on someone in your office to be a supportive presence. That someone whom you consider not just as your coworker, but also as a friend—in and out of the workplace. This person is your go-to comrade not just for exchanging stories over coffee or lunch breaks, but someone who you can trust and depend on if you need something done at work when you need it. But what are you going to do if—for some reason—that friend decides to leave their job?

When you’ve managed to form a close friendship with someone from your workplace, it can be a massive blow on your part to discover that your good friend and colleague is leaving in order to pursue another job in a different company. It’s a tricky thing to be friends with your colleagues because it will create this strange and complex blend of emotions stirring inside of you should they declare their intentions to resign and find greener pastures. But at the end of the day, you still need to deal with the fact that your friend is deciding to move on.

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So how exactly are you able to cope with the departure of someone that you’ve built a strong friendship with in your workplace? It’s important to remember that this isn’t about you, but that you should be mature enough to understand that your friend and soon-to-be former colleague is making a decision that they believe will improve their career goals. Once you’ve reconciled yourself with this sobering fact, you’re now ready to deal with this type of separation anxiety. Look to the details featured below for more useful information.

Respect and acknowledge their decision

It’s very likely that you’ll be the first one to hear the news from your friend when they tell you their intentions of leaving their current job to go and seek new opportunities elsewhere. When this happens, its natural for you to react with shock, anger, sadness, disbelief, and denial. And once you’ve processed your feelings about this information, it’s very likely that you’ll try to convince your coworker to change their mind about leaving. Be advised that you should not attempt to do so because they have their reasons for doing it.

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It’s imperative that you take control of your emotions and listen to your friend’s side of the story and why they have decided to make this step. You need to remember that this is not about you, so you have to show your support even though deep down you’re unhappy that your closest confidante at work has consciously made the decision to leave. It’s essential that you and your friend should share a heartfelt conversation so that both of you could come to an understanding early on and reach closure so it will be easy for you to move on.

Be supportive and congratulatory

Your friend will most probably disclose the reasons why they are choosing to resign from their post and whether they were able to secure a new job. Try to look at it from their point of view so you can see why they made this choice. Both of you might be thick as thieves in the workplace, but from a career perspective, the two of you may be at diifferent and diverging points that can’t be resolved by your mere friendship. You might be happy with where you are right now, but your friend might not feel the same way about it anymore.

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At this point, all you can do is to congratulate your friend on their good fortune and try not to complain about the fact that they’re leaving you behind. Remember that changing jobs is a hugely emotional and stressful process, so it’s vital that you’re not giving your friend some grief about their decision to find better job offers. Make a conscious effort to be a source of positivity for your colleague since their time at the company you’re working for is about to reach its expiration date. Your friend will surely thank you for your warm approval.

Give yourself a brief respite

So your friend broke the news to you early on and you’ve made the supportive overtures, but you also can’t ignore those emotions welling up deep inside of you that is making you feel all sorts of things. In this case, it’s acceptable for you to take some time off for yourself and try to figure out what this means for you and your friend now that they have chosen to move on to bigger and better things in their career. Spending some time alone to properly process the news is just what you need in order to understand the situation from all angles.

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Give yourself the weekend right after your friend has told you their news so that you can have enough time to deal with the information in private. Do some meditation at home or take a walk somewhere outdoors that’s quiet and tranquil. This way, you will have the chance to clear your mind of chaotic thoughts and letting yourself think more logically about the fact that your coworker is resigning. And if you’ve managed to temper your emotions during your break, it’ll be easier for you to deal once you get back to work.

Stay away from the gossip mill

Whenever someone intends to leave a company, the news is bound to spread through the workplace, and you need to prepare yourself for this kind of situation once your friend is undergoing the exit process. Most people tend to keep details of their departure under wraps and only disclose the information to a select group of people that they trust. However, certain people in your office who are clearly not privy to your friend’s exit are bound to speculate about why they are resigning and that’s where the rumors starts to fly.

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Should these gossipmongers come running to you for details on your friend’s impending departure, you need to rebuff their nosy inquiries and politely tell them to mind their own business. Your friend has entrusted you with the news of their exit on the implicit understanding that you’re not going to spread the word to anyone else, so you need to uphold and honor the trust that your friend expects from you. As much as possible, you must avoid other coworkers making false speculations about why your friend is resigning.

Throw a surprise farewell party

Knowing that you have very little time remaining to see your friend on a regular basis at work, you should take this opportunity to send them off with a bang. A great way to pay tribute to your departing colleague is to host and throw a surprise farewell party in your friend’s honor. Everybody loves an excuse to party, and this is one of those moments where everyone in your office can have a chance to properly say goodbye to your friend and wish them good luck on their future ventures. This way, a sad situation is turned into a good one!

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If you are aware of the last day of your friend in the office, then you should make party preparations early on to ensure that you’ll be able to pull it off without a hitch. Rope in your other coworkers to help with the party planning, and everyone who is in on the plan should keep under wraps so that your friend won’t hear word about your intentions. Furthermore, it’s strongly advised that you throw the surprise part for your friend outside of the office so that you and everyone else won’t have to worry about disrupting your daily operations.

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