How to Not Feel Guilty for Coworkers When Quitting a Job

Try to leave your colleagues with a positive impression.

Try to leave your colleagues with a positive impression.

You finally got the great new job you wanted. Or perhaps you found a millionaire to marry or won the lottery. Whatever the reason, you're quitting your old job and aren't sad in the least. But you can't help feeling a little guilty about leaving your co-workers behind to deal with the lousy boss and increased workload on their own. Do your celebrating away from the office, and then go in and help put as many things in order as possible before you leave.

Tell your boss about your decision to leave before you tell any co-workers. If your boss asks you to stay longer than a two-week period to give the company time to find a replacement, consider the request. If you can accommodate your old company without jeopardizing your new job -- or your sanity -- do so. This will help you feel less guilty about leaving, since you're going "above and beyond" to not leave your old employer in the lurch.

Tell your close co-workers about your plans to leave once you've informed the boss and you have a firm departure date. Don't go into their offices and do the happy dance. Instead, let them know you'll miss them and want to stay in touch. Exchange phone numbers or email addresses. Go out to lunch together to celebrate your good fortune, but there should be no gloating, as they still have to work at the old office.

Offer to help co-workers or your replacement with the transition. Organize your files and workspace so whoever follows you can understand what they've inherited. Finish as many outstanding projects or tasks as you can, so you're not dumping them on someone else. Leave background information, detailed notes and important contact numbers for any projects you can't complete before you go. Leave everything in as good a shape as possible, so you will feel less guilty about leaving.

Tip

  • Leave your contact information with your old boss, a trusted co-worker or your replacement and tell them you're available for questions as they arise, at least for a limited period of time following your departure.
 

About the Author

As a national security analyst for the U.S. government, Molly Thompson wrote extensively for classified USG publications. Thompson established and runs a strategic analysis company, is a professional genealogist and participates in numerous community organizations.Thompson holds degrees from Wellesley and Georgetown in psychology, political science and international relations.

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