6 Things to Do When Your Boss Quits
It can come as a surprise when your boss quits their job. It can be even more shocking when out of the blue, your boss isn’t your boss anymore. No matter how or why your boss leaves, you’ll want to collect yourself and make sure that regardless of what happens, you’re set up for success.
To help you do this, we’ve compiled eight things you should (and shouldn’t) do when your boss quits.
1. Stay Calm
When your boss announces they are leaving the company, it can cause several different thoughts and scenarios to run through your mind. If you can, find out why your boss is leaving. It may very well have to do with personal reasons (an ailing family member, for example) or a great career opportunity.
A sudden departure doesn’t mean the company is underperforming and you need to start a job search. Stay calm and figure out what happens next, and ask how you can help in the process.
2. Maintain the Status Quo
Even though things are changing, that doesn’t mean that the quality of your work should slip. Continue to try your hardest so that you can make a positive first impression when your new boss starts. Everything should stay “business as usual” during the transition. Maintaining the status quo helps you stay focused on you and your job, not your absent boss. And your new boss will appreciate that the department is humming along.
3. Be Professional
Whether you loved or loathed them, it’s a good idea to stay mum when word about your boss’ departure gets around. Although it can be fodder for gossip, try to steer clear of the workplace drama and stick to the workload.
Management could eventually learn that you’ve been speculating why your boss quit, which could jeopardize your job or send the wrong message. Being diplomatic about your boss’s departure is a much better way to maintain your professionalism.
4. Learn About Next Steps
While you might feel like whipping out your resume to start job hunting, right now, your first focus should be on finding out what comes next. That could include anything from how your job might be affected, to any potential team restructuring.
Your boss should tell you what to expect during the transition, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes your boss doesn’t know what comes next. For example, perhaps there’s a chance that there may be some team restructuring.
Regardless of what happens, speculating about the situation will get you nowhere. When in doubt, start with human resources. Approach them calmly and professionally and mention that you’re unsure of next steps and would like a little direction about the situation. HR should be able to give you the answers you need, or at least arrange meetings with the right people.
5. Be Flexible
During times of transition, it’s best to be flexible. Whether you work in-office or remotely, you might need to put in some added hours to make sure everything runs smoothly. Your coworkers may struggle with projects, so help them out whenever you can. And, do your part in pitching in and covering part of the workload your boss used to do. Whether that’s scheduling meetings or talking to clients, do what you can to lighten the load but be careful not to step on anybody’s toes.
6. Help Out
As your old boss gets ready to depart, you might report to an interim manager who’s already an employee of the company. If that’s the case, be sure to take some time to connect with them. Let them know exactly what your responsibilities are, what projects you’re currently working on, and what tasks you’d be willing to take on in the meantime until things have settled down.
Change Is Constant
There are likely good reasons why your boss left their job. While you may worry about your next boss, continue to be the professional you are and remember that the one thing that’s constant in life (including your work life) is change.
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