We’ve all been there, working in a job we might like or are comfortable with, at least. Then suddenly, coworkers begin dropping like flies and moving on to new opportunities. So you find yourself asking the question, what should I do when all my coworkers are quitting?
Several factors may come into play as you look for the best path for your career. Generally, you have a couple of options, but to determine the right move, you should look at the details of your situation. Some crucial elements to consider are:
- Your work relationships: We all know how vital our colleagues are. When you have great relationships, it can make even a miserable job fun. So, if you see your coworkers starting to quit en masse, it’s worth looking at who is staying.
If your employer has to hire many new people, do you create new relationships? Are those leaving your core group of work friends? Do you have a better relationship with those that have not quit? Or do you have greener pastures elsewhere with built-in professional relationships?
The answer to these questions can provide insight into how your work life will change due to coworkers quitting. It can also help you acknowledge your underlying feelings about losing those colleagues and how it will impact your time at work.
- How it may impact your current job: While it can be very depressing to lose your work friends, it can also change your position with your employer. It is worth considering whether these changes could change how you feel about your current position.
For instance, if all of your coworkers quit, does that move you up the ladder? Could it make you eligible for a promotion sooner? If so, you may want to stick things out for a bit and see what happens.
Major organizational changes sometimes happen, whether planned or unplanned. But in either case, these changes often present many opportunities that you might not have at work.
- How you feel about your current job: If you find all of your coworkers quitting suddenly, it’s worth reflecting on how you feel about the job and your employer. Did they quit because you have a terrible employer? Do you feel like you work for an awful employer?
The reality is that people can quit a job for many reasons, but just because others are doing it, it doesn’t automatically make it the right move for you. But a mass exodus could prompt you to reflect on how happy you are with your position.
If you are happy, then staying may be the right move. If you are unhappy, you may feel like the rest of your quitting coworkers, and in this case, you may want to explore other opportunities.
- Are you where you want to be? You took this job in the first place because you thought it would further your career. Is it doing this? Will staying in the position continue to benefit your career? Ideally, employment should be a win-win proposition.
The employer gets a valuable team member that enhances company operations. And the employee should be able to accomplish their career and personal achievements. In many cases, you may not know why all of your coworkers are quitting. But if they are, it’s helpful to consider whether your employment contract is a win-win scenario at the current time.
These questions can help you get to the bottom of your feelings about your job. They can help you determine whether to stay at your job if all of your coworkers are quitting.
Another critical aspect to consider is getting to the bottom of why your coworkers are quitting. While it is easy to assume you know the reasons, the best way to understand their reasons for leaving is by asking.
If you feel comfortable reaching out to some of your departing colleagues, it’s a great idea to do so. For example, they can tell you if they are leaving because of the job or the employer. Or they can elaborate on whether it was a personal reason or they simply came across a better offer.
Unfortunately, if many coworkers quit suddenly, it is frequently a red flag about the employer. Especially in a post-pandemic employment environment, many employees can quickly feel burnt out and over-stressed. And without employee wellness policies and flexibility, employers may lose some of their best team members.
Deciding What to Do After All Your Coworkers Quit
While all of these considerations may help you determine your next steps, it’s your call at the end of the day. You have to figure out how to move forward. As you consider these concerns, it might be helpful to put together a list of pros and cons to staying in your current position. Laying all your thoughts out can help you see the best option for you.
But no matter whether you decide to stay at your position or seek employment elsewhere, it’s always a good idea to maintain contact with your ex-colleagues. One of the best ways to do this is by drafting a goodbye letter or email. A great send-off message will include the following elements:
- A positive message – Even if you are jealous of departing colleagues, it’s crucial that you wish them well.
- Contact information – Remember, the people leaving aren’t just former colleagues. They can be professional references or connections that may be leveraged in the future.
- A brief message – This letter isn’t a chance to elaborate on all your shared concerns about the current employer. It is a concise send-off to your coworker.
It can be hard when your coworkers are quitting and you are unsure what to do next. But it also provides an excellent opportunity to re-evaluate your position and goals, which can lead to more significant opportunities for you in the future!