What is your role as your colleague prepares for a job hunt?
We’ve all been there, or perhaps some of us are there now. At some point during working relationships, one of your closest colleagues will come to you to share their thoughts about moving on from their current job. Now this conversation can come at various points and even subside in intensity, but if you are on the receiving end of the conversation, you have a role to play. As the confidant, you can choose to support them passively or actively. I recommend you become a positive accountability partner by helping them assess what they want out of a job change.
In some instances, they are unhappy with only a few things where they are currently working. With a safe and honest conversation in private, you and your co-worker may be able to help re-ignite that fire within and not only bring value back to their current role but the organization as well.
Too often, the conversations about job satisfaction become cancerous discussions that turn pleasant interactions into pity parties. You have to protect yourself from negative energy, and an unhappy coworker can infect your own psyche. Once this information is shared with you, it is your job to vet the sincerity of their exit plan and help hold them accountable. Serving in this role can help you build skills as well and help both your company and your friend transition as well.
Before you agree or offer to be a reference, help them assess the landscape of their current role by giving them the task of evaluating their own performance. The next employer doesn’t want a burnt out employee making a jump, so helping your co-worker shift their mindset and behavior towards the future is critical. While they are doing this work, it never hurts for you to do the same as well. You may learn more about yourself and find that you could be a competitive candidate on the market—so don’t sell yourself short.
Building each other up is what we do as colleagues, so help people grow, so they can go!