Imagine being in a situation where - after 10 years of service to the company you work for - your role is suddenly diminished, igniting speculation about your ability being on the wane.
Picture having to leave three years later without so much as a chance to say goodbye. What kind of person would not be left heartbroken by such a situation? Surely, if it were you, you would be desperate to prove your doubters wrong.
Given the fact that this is exactly the situation Manchester City's Frank Lampard found himself in towards the end of his stint at Chelsea, it is difficult to believe that there are a small minority of critics who question his decision to join the defending Premier League champions.
The 36-year-old was known for being an extremely hard-working player during a 13-year spell at Chelsea, which featured his ascent to the top of the club's all-time scoring list, despite being a midfielder. The club's manager, José Mourinho, once described him as "The best professional I have ever worked with".
However, there is no room for sentimentality in any profession and Chelsea did not hesitate to allow him to leave when his contract expired after the 2013-14 season.
Lampard was right to join City
Likewise, Lampard did not hesitate when another successful Premier League club gave him the chance to reignite his career.
Being the top professional that he is, he relished the opportunity to prove himself at the highest level once more and was even able to score against the club he served with such distinction.
The majority of Chelsea fans understood his decision to join a rival and he was given a fantastic reception by the travelling support when the London giants visited the Etihad Stadium.
However, some people have voiced their disapproval of City snapping up the former England vice-captain. Notably, Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher admitted in his Daily Mail column to finding Lampard's move "strange".
However, if he had gone through his career in fear of upsetting people, Lampard would never have left his boyhood club West Ham, and had so much success with Chelsea in the first place.
Tribalism and football have always gone hand-in-hand, but his critics must remember that for the midfield veteran, the sport is essentially a job.
Just as Carragher made the professional decision to sign for Liverpool - despite being a boyhood Everton fan - Lampard decided that it was best for his career to attempt to add another Premier League winner's medal to his collection at one of Chelsea's fiercest rivals.
Lampard is not a traitor
When Lampard returns to Stamford Bridge with Manchester City for Saturday's potentially title-deciding fixture, he will get a warm reception from the Chelsea fans - and so he should.
He should be applauded for his ambition, rather than being painted as the heartless traitor that some people ignorantly make him out to be.
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