The Seven Messy Emotions of Leaving

Here are some tips for keeping your emotions in check.


We’re emotional creatures, especially during times of change, says Anne Hartman, who’s president of Boston-based Career Investment Strategies Inc. To help you cope, here are some tips for keeping your emotions — and the emotions of others — in check.


Coordinates: Anne Hartman,

Symptom Antidote
Anger Your boss is a jerk, and you’re dying to tell him off and march out in a cinematic huff. Remember that the impression you leave behind is often lasting, and your employer holds the key to your career — a reference. Think twice before complaining. Your boss is a jerk, and you’re dying to tell him off and march out in a cinematic huff.
Joy Your new gig comes with $2.5 million in stock options — and you’re tempted to break into a celebratory dance after you give notice. Put a lid on your hyperdelight and remember that there’s no such thing as a perfect solution: Even a dream job comes with problems.
Sorrow You know you should be delighted about leaving for a better opportunity. But you find yourself wistfully longing for your former company’s ambience. Remember the reasons why you’re leaving. You’ve done this before. You’ll get through it.
Guilt You can’t block out the times when you turned in a less-than-stellar performance. You’re inclined to take on more work, though you’re days away from leaving. You’ll really feel guilty if you can’t complete all of your work before your last day. Finish what’s doable, delegate the rest, and go.
Panic You’ve given notice, but you just can’t stop second-guessing yourself. You’re tempted to pick up the phone to ask if you can revoke your resignation. It’s natural to have some premove jitters. Remind yourself of all the reasons why you took the new job, back when you were thinking clearly.
Jealousy When word gets out about your new gig, your close friends at the office start to give you the cold shoulder. People might feel as if you’re abandoning them. Take them to lunch, and let them see that your relationships with them go beyond work.
The Blahs Glum and mopey, you drag yourself through your last two weeks. Do you want to be remembered as the one who sank the office morale? You decided to leave, so act upbeat and work hard through your last day.