I don’t like good-byes. Any kind of good-byes, in life or at work. And I’ve had my fair share of not-so great good-byes, what with awkward hugs, disorganized farewell get-togethers and running mascara stains (don’t judge me)…
However, when it comes to wishing a colleague farewell at work, there are a few unspoken, more or less flexible, rules to abide by:
1. Show you care! Whether your co-worker has decided to pursue other opportunities, has been laid off or fired, honor the relationship you’ve had! You may look into organizing a get-together at lunch or after work, or passing a farewell card around to be signed by everyone. Even if you haven’t interacted with this colleague much, or the initiative of sending them off with a gesture of some kind has already been taken by someone else, inquire about how you can participate and contribute!
2. Help them transition! Is your co-worker struggling to finish a project prior to leaving? Are there loose ends s/he is trying to tie before their final day? If you have the availability, offer your help, or point out to useful resources they could use. Your gesture will go a long way towards minimizing the work flow disruption, and will certainly get you brownie points in the team (not that that was your primary focus…)
3. Stay in touch! The corporate landscape is not as vast as one may think. You will probably run into your colleague in a different company, at an industry conference, or…in the natural products aisle at Whole Foods. So as much as possible, try to stay in touch. Exchanging Linked In or email information can do wonders towards preserving a good relationship. And who knows what the future may bring?
The Corporate Sis