Office Politics 101: My boss is the retiring type

I like my boss – but he’s retiring. I’m very anxious about working with his successor.

Q: My boss is the best. He hired me to be his assistant about six years ago and now he’s retiring. His successor, also a guy, will be taking over soon. I’m very anxious. Your thoughts? I’m a woman, incidentally.

A: You have had an excellent relationship with your boss and are obviously grateful for the years you have been able to work together.

A change is supervisors in general can be unsettling but, because you have worked so well together, the uncertainty of a new boss will be even more worrying.

Although you and your boss may not socialize outside the office, you have nevertheless become close and are probably friends. You know each other well and there is a level of mutual respect.

You can imagine your life will not be the same when your current boss leaves. However, let me suggest that no one is irreplaceable; in fact, in most instances, even people in relatively important positions are forgotten rather quickly.

Of course, in your case, you’ll have many happy memories of working with him, but you may be surprised to discover that those recollections will even fade to some extent.

You can’t change the impending retirement, so you will need to be realistic and accept the inevitability of a new boss.

Consider this change as the chance to grow in your skills as an administrative assistant. A fresh supervisor will offer you new opportunities and exciting challenges. You may even re-discover talents you’ve previously ignored.

We can sometimes become contented in a position: The timing may be ideal for you to move outside your “comfort zone” and become engaged with your responsibilities in a new way.

In addition, it may be that your new boss will offer you opportunities for advancement — such as a promotion — that will renew your vitality.

It will be important for you to resist comparing and contrasting the management styles of either man. You should not expect the new boss to simply be a younger version of the boss who is retiring.

Take every opportunity to assist in the transition which will also allow you to become acquainted with his style. He will appreciate the initiative which will ensure your relationship will be mutually beneficial from the start.

Submit your confidential questions relating to work and office life to simon@officepolitics101.com