I haven't taken this well. I did a bad job at acknowledging that my colleagues and more importantly, my friends would one day leave the company that I work at.
People leave their companies that they work at all the time. I guess I just never thought about what it would be like once my close friends at work left and I was still there. You don't think about these things in the moment. I wish I had though because I never thought that my closest friends and colleagues would one day be working somewhere else and I would still be working here. I want to work here, let's get that straight. I love, love, love working at HubSpot and selling HubSpot to marketers. I know that there are times when people need to move on and who knows as some point I might feel that way too.
But, I did not prepare myself to what it might feel like when those closest to me wouldn't be there for me to talk to each day. They would no longer be there to tell a story to or get advice from about a deal. They would no longer be there to support me and me to support them. I had no clue how much I appreciated these people until they were not sitting in their desks near me everyday.
Sounds cliche and emotional which maybe it is. I am an emotional person in general. But, I guess I never thought I would care. That sounds weird too but I do. I don't think I noticed how much they had to do with my happiness in general at work.
1. Your work friends do make a real impact in the happiness you have in your role at work.
Some of my friends have gone on to other roles in the company and I see them less. Some have gone on to other countries to manage parts of our business there. Some have up and decided after years of working together to leave for new roles at other companies. Some of these people I have worked with for years. Everyone always said post IPO that people you worked with would leave. I don't actually think that is because they are unhappy with their roles at our company but more because they are ready for a new challenge. After years somewhere it is natural to want to do something different or "more." I respect them leaving and am really happy for their new roles.
Either way, whatever the reason is that these people decide to leave the company you have worked with for a while will likely make you sad and you will feel a bit strange and lost without them.
2. Your work friends might all leave around the same time and you need to be prepared to face that.
I didn't know that my work friends would all seem to leave around the same time. I don't think that was on purpose either but it did happen. My advice here is to make sure that you prepare yourself for your friends and colleagues to leave one day. Don't get too stuck in your ways about those people always being around. Don't take that time for granted because you will find yourself walking the halls of your company not having many close colleagues anymore and that could impact your work.
These are the things that people don't talk about and I want to talk to about them. I reacted poorly to my friends leaving and I want you to know how to react when your friends at work leave.
3. Make real relationships with your work friends outside of work so that when they do leave you have them in another part of your life.
My suggestion is that if you work at a startup make real relationships outside of work with those who you want to be close with even when they or you don't work there anymore. You spend a good amount of time at work or at the office. If you don't like your work environment you are likely to feel unmotivated and not as great as you once did.
4. People enjoy their job mostly because of the people who they work with not because of the work they are doing.
I never really thought about when people said they liked their job because of the people they worked with. I never really thought that was why I loved or love my job. Now I know that regardless of the mission you are solving for or working for - it will likely always be the people you work with that make you happy everyday.
You will have to come to accept that these people won't be there everyday. I suggest trying to get out over it and do it with care and with dignity. I didn't really do that. I was sad, upset, etc. Felt like someone was hurting me personally when really it had nothing to do with me. I was sad that I didn't know they were leaving, etc. Like somehow this was a personal attack on me.
I guess there are a couple of good things that can come of your friends leaving:
- You can really start to focus on your job and what motivates you in your job outside of just your friends and colleagues there everyday.
- You can work on trying to meet new people at the office and making new friends at work.
- You will value the time with your colleagues because they might not be there one day.
I know that some of my posts are ramblings of my thoughts on things I face at work and in sales but I really hope that the real-ness of my posts speak to you. That you value the fact that maybe I don't have the best grammar in the world or that I write the way that I speak. I want my posts to be as real as possible and help other women and people out there who will face the things I have faced in my role so that one day when you do face similar situations you will feel more prepared and empowered to withstand those things the appropriate way.
Learning from others mistakes and successes is a thing that can be hard to do because not everyone is "real" in explaining things that have happened to them. Some people don't even feel comfortable talking about "real things" that have happened to them. People don't feel like they can say real things that happen to them because what if people around you actually read them. I get that, but my goal this year is to be as real as I possibly can with things I have learned or faced at my job. I want to share my success stories in sales, my failures at work, my mistakes, etc in hopes that we can all have more real conversations about what we face in our careers and our lives as women in working in sales or women working in tech.