"When someone leaves, it's really how you adjust to the change, how quickly you change and what your mindset is in this transition and change."

One neglected work-life situation that many fail to mention is when your favorite coworker leaves.  The last thing you want to hear from your beloved coworker is that, they’re moving on to bigger and better things.  However, what may seem like the end of the world may have just opened the potential for new possibilities for you.  While you are most likely happy for them, the harsh reality is, you’re confidant is fleeing the nest.  According to Joe Sweeney, a prominent Wisconsin-based workplace coach and author of the career book Moving the Needle: "When someone leaves, it's really how you adjust to the change, how quickly you change and what your mindset is in this transition and change."

Once you receive the dreaded news and have time to refocus, you will see that this departure can drive you to many new opportunities as well.  Whether you want to embark on a new career venture yourself, open the business you’ve always wanted to or simply stay and incorporate the values that your coworker contributed to the working environment, the decision you make moving forward is important. 

There are times when you are simply content staying where you are and will try and cope with the idea that your coworker has left.  Although it may at first seem daunting being at work without your favorite colleague, it could be a change that spawns positive change in your professional career. Here are some strategies you can use to make this type of transition easier.

Cultivate a New Inner Office Network

This departure can give you the chance to expand your inner office network and create new work friends.   Sit with a different group of coworkers at lunch and explore what other people you didn’t talk to before, have to offer.  You can use this opportunity to create positive changes in your work life to promote motivation.  “Research suggests that workplace friendships yield more productive employees, and it’s not just because friends are easier to work with. It’s also because there is more on the line. Feeling a connection with colleagues can motivate employees to work harder for a simple reason. When colleagues are close, a poor effort means more than a dissatisfied customer or an unhappy manager. It means letting down your friends. The social pressure to do a good job can often serve as a stronger motivator than anything a boss can say.

Refocus Your Ideas

Take the much-needed time to reevaluate what motivates you.  Think about what you want the next year of your working life to look like.  This would be a good time to plan and set goals.  Ask yourself, what qualities did your coworkers share that made the workplace better.  

Manage Your Stress

There are many options in regard to handling stress that can be beneficial to you.  Taking simple steps to manage stress, to ensure that you are working up to your highest potential is one of the most important things you can invest in for your future.  To make the adjustment easier, keep in touch.  This isn’t a final goodbye; it may even spark a career upgrade for you. Perhaps it’s time for you to move on as well, to start your own business (Turnkey can help with any new transition you may want to make, check out our office solutions page). In any case, keeping in touch with your best work friend will definitely help alleviate stress. 

Our work friends become an added family, an extension of our home lives.  We share personal details, successes and failures. It’s difficult when they leave however, this opportunity can give you the space you may need to reevaluate your own core work values.  The key to all new major change is how well you can handle an adjustment.

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