You spend basically all your time at work. And after work you are likely to be found at a happy hour drinking and complaining about work with coworkers. Considering the amount of time you spend with them day in and day out, it’s difficult to not form friendships with coworkers. But what happens when your work besties get fired (or worse, you get fired)?
There are no real standards for what to do when someone departs the company (and personally outside of work is none of anyone’s business). Any work environment has “office politics” and everyone will be curious what happen when someone gets fired. And though, there are no standards, there are a few proper etiquette techniques you could follow to make your and your besties life easier.
Plead the Fifth.
If you’re like me and my bestie in the office, it’s clear to the entire staff we are friends outside of work as well. So if something were to happen to either of us I am sure the other would be bombarded with questions from other employees wondering what happened. Do NOT answer any of them! They are not your questions to answer. If they would like any information on what happen they should contact the source directly.
Keep Work Out of It.
Your friendship may have started because of work, but it has lasted because you put in the effort to be friends outside of the office. Now that work is not your common denominator for your friendship, you have the opportunity to explore other common interests. Conversations will probably naturally head toward the work topic, but you should try to avoid it as much as possible. You might slip up and tell them something you probably shouldn’t, plus they should be happy to be out of that office drama! (And frankly, we all need a little time away.)
Guilty by Association.
One of the most common reasons for getting fired is poor job performance. Don’t get roped into it. Make sure you show your manager that just because your friend got fired doesn’t mean your job should be on the line as well. Keep your focus on your job and your head down. In a few days everyone will stop asking and the dust will settle (so to speak). But if you’re at all concerned, set up a meeting with your manager to ease your nerves.
Depending on how your office politics work you’ll more than likely have to address the issue, whether it be with your manager or other coworkers. Just know it will eventually become old news in the office and in your friendship. Losing a job can be frustrating, be understanding with your friend; and also remind the office it doesn’t concern you (or them) so that you aren’t feeding the drama and rumor mills.
Hopefully you will never have to figure out how to navigate the office without your work bestie, but just in case you do, keep in mind only one of you is gone from the company – you don’t want to make it two.