How to Handle a Boss Leaving
So, your boss just quit.
Are you ready to celebrate?
Or are you ready to panic?
More likely than not, if your boss quit out of the blue, you’re feeling a little blindsided. You might have new responsibilities dumped in your lap that you weren’t prepared for. Heck, you might not even have any idea of who you report to anymore.
But a boss leaving doesn’t mean that you need to break out your résumé and start the hunt anew. As long as you keep your cool, you’ll have no problem handling this transition.
First, don’t panic
This is an important one. A boss leaving can be a significant upheaval to your day-to-day routine, and it’s normal to feel anxious about what’s to come. Why did he/she leave? Is the company in trouble? What comes next?
It’s easy to feel anxious—but we’re here to tell you to relax! Bosses leave all the time, and accepting the change early is the best way to move forward. Just do your best to roll with the punches.
Next – look at the company itself
Once you’re ready to look at the issues objectively, take a look at the current state of the enterprise. How much has changed? Is there a replacement ready to fill the role? Or is the company going through a ground-up hiring process?
Sit back and examine your options, here. You might find that you’re qualified for the new opening, and if so, get yourself out there and take the shot! And even if you aren’t yet qualified, speak with your (new) supervisor and see what responsibilities you might be able to take on. If you’re interested in upward advancement at the company, this is the perfect chance to leverage the chaos and boost your résumé.
Stay active and productive
On that note, it’s important to stay active and productive during these turbulent times. A boss leaving rarely translates to less work on your plate, but you don’t have to look at these responsibilities as a burden. Think of them as learning opportunities you can use to distinguish yourself in the workplace. Step up your game and see if you can take on any additional tasks, particularly if you’re interested in moving upward. This simple mindset shift can go a long way in helping you stay motivated, happy, and efficient as the changes roll through.
Speak with the leaving boss
If possible, speak with your former boss and find out why he/she left. Employees of all kinds are usually more willing to be honest about a company when they’re on their way out, so if you can pick the old boss’s brain a little, you may learn some valuable insights into why they moved on and what problems they left behind.
Of course, the feasibility of this depends on what kind of working relationship you had with your previous manager, so take this one with a grain of salt. But if possible, it’s a great way to learn more about where the company may be headed in the next few months.
Above all, stay alert—but be open
A boss leaving means change, and change is always scary. If things are feeling a little tense around the office, it’s important that you be aware of what’s changing and what new expectations may be put forth. But remember, these changes happen all the time, and more likely than not, everything will turn out fine.