Thursday, May 12, 2011

Guest Post: How to Deal with the Departure of a Co-Worker Who was a Positive Influence in the Workplace

I haven't disappeared--we merely have been having some technical issues with the blog. But I am back with a great guest post from Mariana Ashley on the departure of a co-worker who was a positive influence. We've all had this happen and this is some good advice on how to deal with it. Mariana is a freelance writer who particularly enjoys writing about online colleges. She loves receiving reader feedback, which can be directed to mariana.ashley031 Here is her guest post:
Think of the kinds of things that keep you happy at work. Probably you enjoy your job or some aspect of the work you do. You might have a great supervisor who understands your skills and needs as an employee. Maybe your commute is easy and stress-free and you have good benefits. And maybe you consider your co-workers to be your friends.

All of these factors can contribute to a great workplace atmosphere, especially if you have for a co-worker someone whom you consider to be a friend and a positive influence.

But what happens if that special co-worker leaves the office for greener pastures? How do you respond then in the wake of that departure? How do you maintain that great work atmosphere and keep up your productivity?

As an employee, you have to do your best to maintain your productivity, despite the departure of your friend. Because it's much easier to stay focused at work if you have a good work atmosphere, you should try to follow some of these tips in order to quickly help things return to normal.

Change Everything!

Okay, you don't have to change everything, but you should at least consider making some changes to your daily return in order to minimize the effect of your former co-worker's absence on your own day. If you and your co-worker often met for mid-morning coffee to talk about your latest projects, then avoid this habit. Do something different, such as going for a walk, instead. By changing up how you work through the day, you can help your mind focus on the tasks you have before you in new ways, thus minimizing the effect of your friend's departure.

Begin Working on a New Project

Another way to get your mind off of the departure of your friend is to lose yourself in a new project if possible. By launching a new project, you can refocus on your tasks, what you have to do, and the goals you'd like to accomplish. This is incredibly helpful, especially if your former co-worker worked on past projects with you. Without him or her, you'll have a chance to see how you work on your own. This new project doesn't have to be anything complicated either; it could be as simple as reorganizing your files or preparing a six-month evaluation of your productivity.

Expand Your Friendly Horizons

After your co-worker leaves, especially if he or she was a good friend, you're going to need to make a new friend or two to expand your social circle of co-workers. Go out on a limb and interact with others; go out to lunch with a group you haven't really met for lunch before. Seek out others who might be good members of your team and try to involve them in new projects. The increased social activity and the amount of interaction you have with others will boost your ability to focus on your work.

Flee Negativity

One of the biggest killers of a good office environment is negativity in any form. You're job as an employee is to flee negativity. Don't cultivate negativity and if others are negative, you have to try to keep them out of your day as much as possible. Yes, you'll be disappointed that your co-worker has left, but you should keep that disappointment to yourself. The best way to make yourself happy is to think that you're happy. Letting negativity in you workday, especially negativity associated with the departure of a co-worker, will hurt your mood and ruin your productivity.

Stay LinkedIn

Finally, depending on the nature of your relationship with your former co-worker, you could try to stay in touch, either through a social networking site like LinkedIn or Facebook, or by socializing with him or her on the weekends. This is a good idea if you think having such a contact could improve your own career path as well; however, it could also be nice to keep that person in your life in some way, especially if you were good friends at work.


  1. Awesome post! Thanks a lot for sharing.

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