Resource Centre Career Development When Your Boss Quits Unexpectedly

When Your Boss Quits Unexpectedly

when your boss quits

You probably have planned your exit from your current employer and played out the possible scenarios in your head. One thing you rarely see coming, however, is your boss quitting. Somehow it seems that they will be there forever. You forget that they are employees with personal goals and aspirations and that at the end of the day, we all want the same thing; better opportunities.

When your boss quits, it might be a little unsettling. Here are a few pointers on how to get by such a situation.

Get Over the Shock Quickly

when your boss quits-get over the shock quickly

It is normal to feel unsure about what next and whether even your own job is safe. The fact that you might be reporting to someone new soon might also cause a bit of anxiety. The most important thing to remember during this trying time is that you still have a job and your tasks are waiting. Also, you are in a workplace, not a social setting. Avoid the urge to speculate why your boss left or even engage in the gossip that is sure to follow. Be diplomatic and professional, even if their leaving makes you happy. Do not broadcast it.

Offer to Take on Some of The Tasks Your Boss Did

After identifying exactly what will be left pending, map out what you think you can hep with temporarily and volunteer. You standing up like this puts you in a position to be noticed by higher management and could open up doors for you in the future. It also gives you an opportunity to practice leadership for a moment and get to feel what the position entails.

Find Out What Happens Next – From the Right Person

when your boss quits-find out whats next

When your boss quits, you are naturally left with a lot of questions. Who will be responsible for the various team collaborative efforts? What about the pending projects the team was working on under your boss? You want answers for these and more. The key here is asking the right people, probably your boss’ boss.  Before you initiate this talk, conduct a quick assessment on the most urgent tasks that will affect business performance and ensure to bring those up as priority during the talk.

Most of the time, your boss will give a reasonable notice that will allow for a proper hand-over process. If this is the case, identify the possible problematic areas and ways of handling them. Request for quick training if need be.

Meet Your New Boss for Introduction and Hand-Over

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Most probably, your current boss will be long-gone by the time their replacement reports to work, especially if the departure was sudden. When your new boss comes, obviously they will want to meet the team and go through some orientation. Plan ahead of this meeting and ensure that your hand-over captures everything including history and current status.

Keep the Connection Alive with Your Previous Boss

Just because your boss is leaving doesn’t mean that you lose their number and break the communication, especially if you had a good relationship. Keep the communication and professional relationship alive. You never know what may come out of such a valuable network

Weigh Your Options

when your boss quits-weigh your options

As you try to be positive and proactive about the whole situation, assess the situation objectively. Is your company doing well? Is the culture okay? Your boss leaving could signify an underlying problem in management. That should not be lost on you. Another factor to consider would be how well you click with the new boss. Are there issues you think won’t be solved and you can already sense some tension? Maybe it is time for you to start your stealth job search as well. However, if everything settles down well, stay.


Doreen Mueke
Doreen is the Senior Content Marketer at Ringier One Africa Media.
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