“That’s no longer your responsibility”. This was the response my team leader gave me when I suggested I got involved in a developing situation at work last week. It was an area in which I had previous experience, but as I’m currently in the process of handing over my work responsibilities in preparation for my move next month, someone new is going to be taking this on and now is the time for them to move forward with it. Without my input.
This news took me by surprise more than I had been expecting. For the past two years I’ve been working within our Communications Team at work, developing the charity’s website and social media accounts. I’ve become well-equipped at designing website pages, creating engaging posts for Facebook and Twitter, and learning how to write succinctly in our charity’s style. Now is the time that I have to start letting go of these responsibilities, to finish well and hand over the reins to my colleagues. Here’s a few things I’ve learnt about letting go this past week.
There are Side-Effects of Letting Go
At the end of the day on Tuesday, having received this message from my team leader, I came home and tried to work on some creative tasks. In just over a week’s time I’m sharing with a couple of groups about my move to Kazakhstan, and wanted to create some literature about my future work. I have previous experience using programmes like Photoshop, Canva and PowerPoint to design materials, but for some reason I just couldn’t stay focused.
The realisation that I was no longer responsible for these areas at work had hit me for six, and I didn’t really know why. I felt frustrated that I wasn’t able to complete my tasks that evening, and reached out to a mentor the next day who was able to support me as we spent time chatting through this “letting go” process. After sharing with him and others, I was able to go home on Wednesday and design my literature to a level that I was happy with.
Consider the Right Time to Let Go
With less than seven weeks until my planned move, I now have to choose to let go of some of the things that have been precious to me over the four years that I’ve lived in South Wales. I’ve been a part of an international friendship group that meets every Wednesday in Swansea for the past two and a half years, and I absolutely love it. It’s a place where I’ve been able to make friends with individuals and couples from many countries around the world, and some of my closest friends today are people that I first met at this group two years ago.
Having chatted to my team leader last week, I became aware that with such a short amount of time left, I needed to let go of my involvement with this group. I still have a friend from this group that I’m meeting up with, but it really felt to me that this was the right time to hand over the other friendships I’ve made to the new team members who’ve been coming along over the past year. I also recognised that I need to use some of that time on a Wednesday evening to focus on the different areas of my preparations.
Be Available to Help
There are some areas of my work which, to be honest, I’m quite looking forward to handing over! I’m glad I’ve been able to support our charity with these roles, but as time gets closer to my departure I’ve been itching to hand them on to my colleagues. I handed one of these over last week, our email enquiries, and will finish handing over a second, our short-term opportunities, this coming week. There can be a lot involved in handing over a role; you’re imparting your experiences and suggesting best practice to the one who’s taking over from you. My recommendation is that where possible you make yourself available to support your colleagues even after you’ve let go of the responsibility.
I’m in the privileged position of being around for the next six weeks at work, which means that if there any questions, my colleagues can come and chat to me, and hopefully I’ll be able to provide them with the answers they need! Over the next few weeks I’m planning to check how my colleagues are getting on and commit to supporting them where they need help. As I hand over more of my responsibilities, including our social media accounts and website management, more of my time will be going to supporting my colleagues in these areas of handover, so that as I work myself out of these roles I can finish them all well.