Career Advice Career Basics

How to Cope When a Co-Worker Quits

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We have discussed how to cope when a co-worker quits with examples that will help you stay focused and unperturbed.

When a colleague leaves your team, it can cause friction as the dynamics change, and the workload of people can feel overwhelmed during this transition period. How you think will determine how quickly you will bounce back and move through the changes.

Unless you were aware of your colleague’s secret plans, you were likely surprised by her surprising announcement. You might ask yourself, “Is this happening?” After all, this person has been a part of your everyday life for a long time. Remember, it’s perfectly normal to feel this initial shock and be a little emotional.

But also remember that you are not the only one who needs to absorb this news. Everyone who works with this person is going through the same thing that you are going through right now – especially your boss. And your co-worker might feel a little bit more bitter, too. Don’t make her guess her second decision by making it up for you. Day-to-day business operations still need to continue, so remember to stay professional and don’t allow yourself to spend the next few days in gloom.

Once you get over your initial shock, you’ll enter friend mode. You are happy for your colleague – he worked hard and deserves this new opportunity! You might find yourself organizing some extra lunches or happy hours, or maybe you’ll sign up for a farewell gift. No matter how you celebrate, you’ll feel the need to celebrate this person’s contributions – your monthly budget is binding.

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Sure, you’re happy with your colleague, but once the reality starts (and the notice period is shortened by two weeks), the panic and tension will likely start to set in. In my case, there were a lot of things my colleague knew that I didn’t; After all, he’s been with the company for 15 years compared to 2 years. How would I have absorbed all his tribal acquaintances? Being an IT field a lot of people have relied on my experience – how will I answer all of their questions? Read on as I’m about to show you how to cope when a co-worker quits.

How do you cope when a co-worker quits?

So how can you take advantage of a growth mindset and employ it as your colleague moves to new opportunities? Consider leveraging the situation in the following ways:

Strengthen new relationships.

It’s natural to be attracted to people who share similarities when you work with a team of diverse personalities. Once a business friendship is established, it’s easy to get back to that colleague for things like project collaboration, brainstorming, and even social events.

These close relationships can have several advantages, with a Gallup study indicating that women who have a best friend at work are twice as likely to engage (63%) compared to women who say otherwise (29%).

However, having a close relationship with some colleagues can also cause other people on your team to be overlooked with whom you may not have bonded immediately. When a colleague leaves, it opens the door to forming new relationships. You will be excited to forge new relationships both in your team and within your company, and to participate in events for which you may have been previously rejected.

Consider having a cup of coffee with your other teammates and having a conversation about how you can help support them during the transition period. Offer assistance with projects whenever possible, and take this time to start relying on each other. The larger your internal network at work, the more success you will achieve and the more familiar your workplace will be!

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Developing better time management.

When someone leaves the team, they are unfortunately not taking their work or responsibilities with them. This means that you and the rest of the team will have to take the lion’s share of their projects. This may be overwhelming at first, but it may eventually force you to become more productive with the time you have, thereby driving you to a higher level of competence. As the saying goes, “If you want to do something, give it to the most active of people!”

You won’t be able to take over everything, and remember, that’s okay! Before you get confused about how much new work to add to your storyboard, write all the big projects, along with timelines and due dates. At the start of each week, take all of these big projects, draw them into a productive quarter, and plan your day based on the most important and pressing projects, rather than trying to tackle everything blindly.


Take more than one leadership position.

This is one of the neglected ways to cope when a co-worker quits. When someone leaves, the group’s dynamics and organization change. This leaves room for you to step in, create more strategies, and contribute to projects that you may not have been aware of. This is a great time to showcase yourself and provide leadership, direction, and support to the people around you.

During times of change, demonstrate your leadership by helping others facilitate during any transitions. Step up and take on new responsibilities that can help keep your team afloat.

It’s natural for team members to gravitate toward tasks that are easy for them to accomplish and play toward their strengths. For example, I may possess strong writing skills, while my colleague has strong design skills. When creating new workshops, I create a script and script as they approach the design. Although this saves more time, it does not allow me to improve my design skills. However, when my colleague left the company, it forced me to do some design work, and although the learning curve might be steep, it allowed me to learn and develop some new skills.

Use this time to create your SWAT analysis, and consider which of your skills might be prepared during this transition period.

Read Also: What can you contribute to this company? Best Answers

No matter how stressful this change may be for you and your team at first, a positive side can always be found. It’s sad to say goodbye to the people you love to work with, but be sure to show your enthusiasm to your colleague during his journey to his new opportunity!

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