Often, we talk about the bosses we don’t like and the things we hate about them. When they resign (or get fired), our reaction is “Yippee!” But what about the bosses we do like? The ones who are great. They recognize, coach, and support us and our career development. Now they’re quitting!
I saw an article over at The Muse titled, “The Smartest Steps to Take if You Think Your Boss Is Quitting”. It’s worth checking out. Keep in mind that your boss could be looking for a new opportunity for the same reasons you are – closer commute, more pay, better benefits, greater work/life balance, and the list goes on. Workers are quitting at the fastest pace in 16 years.
So, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that the wonderful terrific boss you have might come into work one day with their resignation letter. If that happens, here are four things to consider:
- Wish them well. While you’re bummed that they’re leaving, congratulate your boss on their new opportunity. The world is too small these days. Your paths could cross again at some point. You can always stay in touch via LinkedIn, if you’re not already connected.
- Don’t ask them to poach you for their new company. Your boss will have lots on their mind right now. They have to wrap up projects at their current job AND start getting ready for their new job. It would not be cool for them to have conversations with employees about quitting and applying at their new company.
- Decide if you’re qualified (and willing) to take on additional responsibilities. This conversation also takes some finesse. It’s possible that, as much as you liked your boss, their resignation opens up opportunities for you. Think about whether you’re ready to express your desire for a promotion. Or maybe consider temporarily filling in until the company hires someone.
- Don’t assume your next boss will be evil. If you like your boss, it’s hard to imagine another manager being better. But it does happen. Your new manager could expose you to new knowledge and skills that the old manager wasn’t capable of doing. Different management styles aren’t bad. They’re just different.
The final thing I’d suggest to anyone who really likes their manager is tell them. Don’t wait until they’re leaving to let them know. As employees, we want our managers to give us feedback about our performance and coach us to do better. There’s no business rule that says employees can’t tell their managers that they’re doing a good job.
I can’t help but wonder if managers heard from their employees that they were doing a good job, would that make the boss more engaged? If managers knew they were doing a good job, directly from employees, would that help them stay with the company?
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby at the neon graveyard in Las Vegas, NV2