My only friendly colleague is leaving. What do I do now?

Hey Ranjani,

My only friendly colleague is leaving. She was the only reasonable one in the team, who helped me when I needed, and listened to me complain. She’s found a new job and I don’t know what to do!

Thank you,


Dear A,

Unless you’re working in an organisation of two, this colleague’s leaving shouldn’t directly impact your job status, I’m assuming? So, I’m firstly glad to hear that you still have a job, which allows you to think about this calmly and make a decision.

Now, if you have only one ‘reasonable’ person at your workplace, there has long been something wrong there. Let me take a leap and also assume that you’re in an ineffective, unenjoyable, perhaps even toxic place. As long as your friendly colleague was there, she probably made it bearable. When she’s gone, it might get worse. Prepare for that.

There are a couple of things you could do.

One: Negotiate your existing workplace without your friendly colleague. Be more open with others on your team — may be they’re actually more reasonable than you gave them credit for. If they are being hostile or irritable around you, consider why and if there is anything at all that you can do to ease the situation. But remember, it’s probably not you. And you can’t change toxic workplaces single-handedly.

Two: You could look for a new job and move on too. But make sure you’re not following your friendly colleague everywhere she goes, it’ll get too clingy that way.

Good luck, A. Write back and let me know how it goes.

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