I never thought my boss would leave… Of course, I understand that he’s human and has ambitions of his own but I just never conceived of it and didn’t want to, until it happened. It was downright shocking and I felt at a loss, to put it mildly. Here was the captain of our ship, parking it in like it was just another day.
He had been there for me professionally for 5 years, watching out for me, offering guidance, coaching and support. He’d become more of a “father figure” and watching him leave was breaking my heart. I should have seen it coming though. The signs were there. He hadn’t been interested in operational activities anymore, rarely ever held team meetings with us and left quite a lot of important decisions on the table for us to make. It was almost like he didn’t care anymore what happened.
If he’d been a mean boss, it would have been so much easier; I wouldn’t have to pretend I didn’t care but in this case, I actually do.
So, what worked for me? Here's how I coped when my boss resigned:
1) I realised that the reason he was leaving was because of his ambitions (just as he had announced). Everyone is allowed to have them and in the end, he had thought things through and identified what was best for him. It was difficult to discard the conspiracy theories surrounding his departure, however. Perhaps he couldn’t cope with the new management? Perhaps the board didn’t want him around anymore? Perhaps the company was headed for disaster and he just didn’t want to be a part of it? Taking the conspiracy theories out of the picture certainly made it easier to accept his departure and move on.
2) I took time out to think about it objectively. His move wasn’t about me, why take things personal? If I got better opportunities, wouldn’t I leave as well? Most likely I would, without taking any one’s feelings into consideration.
One thing is for sure however, things will never be the same again.
It's up to me to make the best of the situation.