How to Handle When Your Boss Retires

How to Handle When Your Boss Retires
Change is often scary. Perhaps you’ve worked for your boss a long time. Perhaps you’ve finally found the most perfect boss in the world. What happens when it comes time for your boss to retire? If you don’t get along with your boss, this may come as a cause for celebration. If you love your job and your boss, you may be sad. Regardless of your reaction to your boss’ retirement, you will soon be getting a new boss. How you deal with them and the situation may play a big role in your future with the organization. Here are a few important factors to remember when your boss retires.

Promises end on the day they leave (unless it’s in writing and sometimes even then). Remember that the reign of your current boss ends on the day they walk out the door. It doesn’t matter if they promised you a raise, a promotion or the corner office; just because they promised does not mean it’s going to happen. Your new boss will be eager to make their mark on the company. Don’t be surprised if there is even reorganization in the future. Bottom line; don’t rely heavily on the promises made by a departing boss. Their power comes to an abrupt halt the next day. You have it in writing? You can try, but don’t be surprised if “business needs” comes up in the conversation. The “need for the business” to rethink the game plan; good for them, bad for you.

Revisit your performance evaluations and goals. Why? Your new boss will be taking a look as well. They will want to know all about you. Did you forget about the less than perfect evaluation? Take some time to look over your past performance. Think about areas you may need to improve and get to working on them.

Be ready to talk. At some point, the new boss will want to “get to know” everybody. Do you have goals? Are there things you would like to see changed? It’s never too early to start envisioning those initial conversations. The initial conversation may be when your new boss is most open-minded.

Plan a nice party for both the outgoing AND incoming bosses. You want to create a welcoming atmosphere to get started on the right foot. The party doesn’t need to be elaborate; a cake and some punch will suffice. It’s the opportunity for the new boss to meet everyone in a casual moment.

Remember, your current boss is excited about leaving. After years of stress and struggle, they are finally seeing the end of the journey. Don’t be in denial and don’t be surprised if they have already mentally checked out. As soon as you find out your boss is retiring, it’s time to start planning for your future. Despite everyone’s best effort, it will no longer be business as usual. It’s time for change.


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