Quitting your job for any reason can be stressful. That stress can be compounded when you like your boss. It can reach monumental proportions if you are friends with your boss outside of work. Quitting your job does not have to mean that you are leaving your friend high and dry or ending the friendship entirely. However, it does mean you will need to approach the topic of leaving with a little more tact.
1. Don’t Spring the News
A two-week notice is generally the standard rule of thumb when quitting a job. However, if you consider your supervisor your friend, you may want to give more notice, even a month or two, if possible. If you have just started looking and you feel that you have a good relationship with him or her, you may want to let them know that you are looking and why. This will most likely be a difficult conversation, but it is one best had if you feel comfortable enough. Your friend will also appreciate knowing ahead of time that your position will need to be filled. You may be asked to help train your replacement if at all possible.
2. Offer Support After You Leave
No longer working with your friend-boss might mean more than a typical turnover package or forwarding important documents through email. You may feel comfortable enough to continue offering support even once you have started a new job. While your offer may not be accepted, it will at least stand as a good-faith gesture. Also, if you truly are friends with your boss, you will continue to offer support as a friend outside of work on all fronts.
3. Think Before You Speak
It would be in your best interest and less awkward if you did not talk openly and freely about your job search or your new job, at least for a while. If your boss is truly your friend, he or she will support you in your new endeavor, but that does not necessarily mean you should wax on poetically about it.
You may feel like you are walking a high wire when transitioning jobs and leaving your friend-boss behind. However, being conscientious of others’ feelings and work responsibilities will make the transition easier in the long run. Honesty and understanding will go a long way in through this time of change for both of you. And remember, friendships, true ones, are just as rare as awesome job opportunities.
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