A how-to for professional break-ups


Relationships are tricky. Whether it be with girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, wife — navigating a partnership while still showing you’re a compassionate, committed individual has challenged some since the dawn of humanity.

But what happens when these relationships turn toxic in the workplace? Or it’s just time to move on?

The parting of ways can cause both immediate and long-term problems, and according to business professionals around our local community, there are a couple reasons to end the working relationship between yourself and your company and/or employee,  according to Lettie Bowen of Antelope Valley Human Resources.

Account for the situation: There are a number of reasons an employee would want to leave a company, and those reasons should never involve one being angry, Bowen said.

“It is hard, but for a lot of times, when an employee wants to leave, it’s best to not leave when you’re angry,” said Lettie. “You don’t want to leave when you’re unloading something emotional on the situation.”

Bowen said “rage quits” can lead to bad experiences for both the employee and employer, and therefore, both the worker and business owner should come to an amicable understanding of the situation.

Be Understanding: For employees who are leaving, it’s important to be honest with an employer about why you’re leaving, while framing it to say things that you’re looking for that might be out of their control.

“It’s better to let them know you found something else that you’re interested in career-wise or it’s a closer commute for you or that the hours are possible,” said Lettie. “You also want to give them as much notice as possible.”

And for employers, if the breakup is something from more of your end, where the business breakup is because the recent hire or current employee is not the “right fit” for your operation, it’s important to communicate with the employee.

“You’re communicating with them on a regular basis on what responsibilities you want them to fill. And if it comes right down to it, set up little meetings to make sure they have an understanding of, ‘This is the job we have,’” said Bowen.

Realize the big picture: It’s important for both parties, regardless of whoever has initiated the breakup, to understand that down the road, maybe in the near future or in a couple years’ time, that your ex-employer or employee may be the thing you need for a situation. And you want to be able to call them up again.

“Right now, with the market, it’s an employee market and people are going to take opportunity to fulfill themselves and it’s important to know how to leave,” said Bowen. “But it’s important for your employees (both current and former) to know that they have an opportunity, if that’s something both of you would want, of coming back. There’s a way to not leave.”

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