How to Cope When Your Best Work Friend Leaves the Office
Life is all about change. And in the modern workplace, change is the rule rather than the exception. Having a best work friend (BWF) can enhance your job satisfaction, emotional well-being, and productivity, but it’s inevitable that some day one of you will leave for new horizons. If you’re the one left behind, you’re bound to feel pretty upset. Read on for six ways to cope and move on after your BWF leaves the office.
- Look on the bright side.
It’s natural to feel sad about your BWF’s departure. Although you’re not losing her from your life, she won’t be your co-worker anymore. Let yourself grieve that loss, but don’t dwell on negative feelings. Use the technique of positive reframing to help you move on.
The idea is simple: everything that happens can be viewed positively or negatively. So in this case, try to look at your BWF’s new move as an opportunity for you to have a professional contact at a new company within your field.
Reframing your perception of life in a more positive light will boost your mood, your productivity and even your immune system, which in turn will make you a better employee and happier person.
- Make new work friends.
When you have a daily lunch date with your BWF, there’s not much motivation to forge other friendships at the office. But in an age when hardly anyone stays at the same company their entire career, co-workers departing is an inevitable part of office life.
Again, look at your BWF’s absence as an opportunity — in this case, an opportunity to discover what you have in common with other co-workers you may have overlooked. Diversify your office social life and you’ll be better equipped to deal with change the next time a friend turns in her notice.
- Find people outside of your office to have lunch with.
Do you work in a big city? Chances are you have friends from your non-work life in close proximity. Invite one of those friends to lunch or happy hour. Sharing a meal with someone from outside your office can shake up your routine, and the perspective of someone in a different field can enrich your knowledge and inspire you with new approaches to a problem.
Even if you work in a more isolated location, you can meet people in your area through friend-finding sites and apps. Pretty soon your weekly calendar will be full of lunch dates and you’ll bask in the good feeling of reconnecting with old friends or making new ones.
- Take an honest look at your job satisfaction.
Was laughing at cat videos on YouTube with your BWF the only aspect of your job you looked forward to? Perhaps it’s time to evaluate your career satisfaction and make some changes. There are many reasons to leave your job, but often we stick to the familiar rather than risk the unknown. Your BWF realized it was time to move on; perhaps she’ll be the inspiration you need to do the same.
If your professional life is in stasis but you don’t think a new job is an answer, these last two tips will help you improve your job satisfaction in other ways.
- Add something pleasant to your office routine.
Everyone needs little things to look forward to during the workday. Luckily, recent studies support the idea that taking breaks is better for productivity than trying to power straight through. Especially if your BWF was part of the little breaks you looked forward to, it’s time to create at least one fun, new ritual.
Try something you haven’t done before, such as a five-minute meditation habit. You may also enjoy doing something fun like taking a break to sing along to your favorite song in the car. Or find a fun new habit that contributes to your overall health. Create a short stretching routine you can do at your desk, go for a quick bike ride around the block, or buy a pedometer and challenge yourself to take more steps with little breaks to walk around the office.
- Look for a new project or responsibility to take on.
If you’re feeling dissatisfied with your job, you may simply need a new challenge to shake you out of your boredom. Depending on where you work, you may be able to create a new project to work on or you may need to ask your boss for new responsibilities. You could also go to the office to see if anyone needs help with their projects.
Taking on something new at work is a win-win: you’ll feel happier in the short-term, and in the long-term, you’re gaining new skills and experiences to put on your resume.
Try these six ways to cope with the departure of your best work friend. If you’re still broken up about it, take comfort in knowing you’ll always have the memories of laughing over those cat videos!