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coworker-leaving

When a coworker leaves, it’s generally big news. This might be because the person was loved or hated by everyone in the office, or it might just signal changes at the company. Either way, it’s bound to get people talking, but as San Francisco-based researcher and user-experience designer Meg Dickey-Kurdziolek writes in a post for Daily Muse, it’s a time for action. Specifically, she says, there are “3 Things to Do Every Time a Coworker Leaves.” Read on to see how she suggests handling exits from your workplace.

1. Get to Know the Person’s Role — When people give their two-weeks notice, they tend to check out and not do a whole lot of work. But as Dickey-Kurdziolek writes, you should try get a sense of their responsibilities and gauge how far they’ve gotten on unfinished projects. After all, some of that work might fall to you. Even if it doesn’t, you might be in a position to jump in and pick up some of the slack. Talk to the person, find out what he or she does, and take good notes. “If you work quickly,” Dickey-Kurdziolek writes, “you may be able to become the defacto domain expert, impress your boss, and claim those projects for your own.”

2. Write a LinkedIn Endorsement — If you’ve enjoyed working with this person, let him or her know with a thoughtful LinkedIn testimonial. This is especially important if the individual has been laid off. It could be the confidence boost they need to get back on their feet, and at some point, they might repay the favor. Speaking of which, Dickey-Kurdziolek suggests asking for an endorsement in return. After all, you never know when you’ll be looking for a job.

3. Take ’em to Lunch — Your office will probably throw a little goodbye party in the break room, but if possible, invite the outgoing individual to lunch. You’ll get the inside scoop on why they’re really leaving, and that’ll help you get a richer picture of office culture. Did they get passed up for a promotion? Are they hip to upcoming changes no one knows about? Here’s a way to find out.