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What to do as a PA or Secretary if your boss suddenly resigns

With all the Brexit politicians resigning right left and centre, we have been thinking about shock resignations and what you should do if you are in a PA or secretarial job and your boss resigns unexpectedly.

RMS Recruitment PA Jobs Resignations


While the skills of a good secretary or PA are transferable between industries, offices and in theory, bosses, in reality it is more often than not the chemistry between PA and boss which makes the role a success. When a PA is in tune with their boss, they can anticipate what they need before they need it, what meetings need to be scheduled, who they want to talk to and to a certain extent what decisions they are likely to make.


So if your boss resigns unexpectedly it can feel like a personal loss because everything you understand about them formed the basis of your working day. PAs, Executive Assistants and Secretaries or any position which is in direct support to a single manager are highly sensitive to a manager’s unanticipated departure and office support positions are less likely than others to be able to fill a departing manager’s role.


Here is our guide to dealing with your boss’s shock resignation.


Don’t take it personally!

If you have a particularly close relationship with your boss, their resignation can seem like a personal blow. However hard it is not to feel slighted, remember that everyone should make career decisions based on what is right for them and sometimes this will not always be the best thing for the company or team. Try to get time with your boss one on one to find out if there is anything going on at the company which has made them resign.   


Do a bit of digging

If you feel as though your boss is hiding the real reason for leaving, do a bit of digging with other senior colleagues to see whether wider changes are afoot. This will help you examine your own position in the company. Will it just be a new boss or is there re-structuring which may impact you?


Keep your head

More than anything else, remember that your role in the company is to contribute to the company’s success. So continue to do your job to the best of your ability and try to communicate as normal with colleagues. Even if you feel inner turmoil and uncertainty about your future, keep a calm approach to work and don’t be tempted to engage in office gossip about your boss’s departure.


Don’t let uncertainty lead to fear

There is no reason to doubt your own position unless there is a wider story of re-structuring going on. If you let anxiety get the better of you, you will make mistakes. You must be seen to continue to do your job well regardless of your boss’ departure. Try to show confidence in your ability so that other senior managers see you as a safe pair of hands.


Communicate with senior managers

Make yourself noticed for the right reasons. Ask your boss’ boss whether there is anything you can do to ease the transition. Try to establish whether they are recruiting to fill the position and when. Show a positive outlook and show yourself willing to take on extra work and hours if necessary during the handover period. You want to demonstrate your value to the company.


Evaluate your position

Ask yourself whether you loved the job because of your boss or because of the company you work in. It’s ideally a bit of both but if you have only stayed at the company because of your boss, it may be time to consider a move. While evaluating your next steps, get your CV in order in case you do decide to leave. Be prepared, but keep an open mind. Events which seem terrible at the time often turn out to be for the best in the long term. You may end up working for an even better boss!


Contact a trusted recruitment agency

At RMS Recruitment, we often see candidates who are unsure about their current position when a boss leaves. We are more than happy to talk to people before they have made the decision to seek a new job and are always ready to offer good advice. We won’t try to force you to quit just so that we can put you forward for other PA jobs with our many clients but will take the time to get to know you and help you work out your best move, whether that is remain or leave (sorry for the Brexit reference!).  Please call 0207 518 9170 for a chat with one of our friendly consultants or contact us at info@rmsrecruitment.com 

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