Given the number of workers out there who can't stand their managers, having a great boss is no doubt a blessing. So if that boss of yours announces he'll be taking his talent and skills to a new company, your first inclination might be to curl up under your desk and pray that it's nothing but a bad dream.
Losing a good boss to a new company is always hard. But what happens when your boss appreciates your work so much that he asks to take you with him? Do you uproot yourself and follow along? Or stay put and hope for the best?
Benefits of following your boss to a new company
If your boss manages to snag you a job at his new company, there are plenty of good reasons to take it. First, you'll get to retain the level of familiarity you have with your boss rather than start anew with someone else.
Assuming you'd get the opportunity to continue working under your current boss, you'll get the peace of mind that comes with already understanding his management style. If you stay put, you wind up taking your chances with a new boss, and potentially one you ultimately clash with.
You'll also get a built-in advocate at your new job, and that's a good way to start off on the right foot. If you don't have the best reputation at your current company, or simply want an opportunity to start fresh, following your boss to another employer could really work out.
Drawbacks of following your boss to a new company
But piggybacking on your boss' decision to leave your current employer isn't necessarily the best move. If you like your current job, moving to a new one means exposing yourself to changes that may not end up sitting well with you. For example, you may find that while you still get to enjoy the benefits of working for a manager you like, you're unhappy with the company culture or other aspects of the job. Therefore, you'll really need to ask yourself which risk you'd rather take: sticking around and seeing what your new manager brings or moving along with your current boss and hoping that his new firm is one you'll be happy at.
Another point to consider is that your boss's attitude and management style might change once he's in a new environment. Maybe your boss was both supportive and flexible because circumstances at your current company allowed for it. But if your boss's new job is a lot more stressful and comes with far more demands, his outlook might change, and some of that stress might quickly filter down to you.
If you are going to move on in conjunction with your boss' departure, make sure that the new role you're being offered is, at the very least, a lateral move, if not a step up. The last thing you want to do is take a step backward in your career for the sole purpose of being able to continue working with a manager you get along with.
Similarly, make sure that the salary and benefits at your new job are up to par. Though there's a value in getting to hang on to a great boss, it may not be worth forgoing several thousand dollars a year in income plus the stellar health plan you've come to appreciate.
Though following your boss to a new company is a move that can work out well, it's one that could also backfire. If you're not ready to leave your current employer, or come to realize that the title, salary, and benefits you'd get at your boss' new company can't compete with what you have today, don't despair. Chances are, whoever comes in to fill your manager's shoes will be someone you can learn to coexist with. And if you're really lucky, you just might wind up with an even better boss than your current one.