How to Handle When Your Boss Retires

If you have recently learned that your boss is retiring soon, you may be filled with a mix of emotions. For many people who have been with the same company for several years or longer, it may feel as though you are losing a dear friend or mentor. You may also be concerned about the ramifications of working with a new boss or wondering if this means you will finally get a promotion that you believe you have earned. Your boss’s retirement is a monumental event for everyone in the company, and you can more easily navigate through this event by following a few steps.

Prepare for Internal Adjustments

Your boss is a guiding force in your company, and his or her departure can result in major changes within a department or throughout the entire company. Managerial styles between your current and new bosses may be different, and you may need to be flexible while dealing with this adjustment. There may be some re-organization as you or other people are promoted to fill vacancies. When multiple people in the office assume new responsibilities and levels of authority, it can be difficult to adjust. However, take one day at a time, and be open to making the necessary changes on your end to facilitate a smooth transition. Some people unfortunately find that the company or department changes too significantly when their boss retires, and they decide to start looking for a new position elsewhere. While this may be the ultimate outcome for you, try to be open-minded.

Plan an Amazing Party

If you work closely with your boss, you may be asked to plan a retirement party, or you may need to take the initiative to do so yourself. It is wise to coordinate the event with multiple people in the office and even with your boss’s spouse. This will ensure that you do not duplicate efforts when planning the party. Prepare your guest list as a first step, and this is because your guest list will determine which venues you can choose to host the party at and what your party budget reasonably needs to be. Remember that luncheons are often far more affordable than elegant evening parties. Choose a party date and time that is as close to the retirement date as possible. Then, hire a caterer, musician and other third parties to pull off an incredible event that everyone will enjoy.

Select a Thoughtful Gift

Regardless of whether you throw a huge gala or a retirement luncheon in the office one afternoon, it is appropriate to purchase a thoughtful retirement gift. Typically, the whole office or a specific department will contribute money to buy a nice gift together. This may be a watch, a weekend retreat at a golf resort, customized artwork or something else. For those who are on a budget, a framed photo that is signed by the entire department or office is a great idea. Relaxation or leisure gifts are also ideal for this type of event. Keep the recipient and the reason for the gift in mind when making a selection.

Prepare a Great Speech

Your luncheon, party or other event should not end without you or several people standing up to give a speech. A retirement speech honoring a boss should be heartfelt and respectful. It may be mixed with a bit of humor, and your jealousy about their retirement can shine through in an appropriate way. Mentioning major accomplishments as well as quirks that your boss has can add more meaning and personalization to the speech. Remember to ask specific people to make a speech well ahead of the event so that they have time to prepare a thoughtful and memorable speech.

The retirement of your boss may be a turning point in your career or for the entire company. Your boss understandably is a leading figure in the company, and he or she may have mentored you in different ways over the years. His or her retirement is a monumental event that you should prepare for from a professional standpoint and that you should celebrate in a more personal way as well. By focusing on these tips, you can prepare for all aspects of this event.

Adam Richards

About Adam Richards

Adam Richards is a semi-retired business professional originally from Bangor, Maine. He spent the majority of his career in sales and marketing where he rose to the marketing lead of a Fortune 1000 company. He then moved on to helping people as a career counselor that specifically helped bring families to self-sufficiency through finding them rewarding careers. He has now returned to Bangor for his retirement and spends his free time writing. This blog will be about everything he learned throughout his career. He'll write on career, workplace, education and technology issues as well as on trends, changes, and advice for the Maine job market and its employers.