Keys to an Effective Job Transition
Changing jobs can be a truly exciting, yet extremely stressful time in anyone’s life. Whether you are just starting out or have been working for decades, moving out of your comfort zone and into a new role or new work environment can leave you feeling scared, intimidated, overwhelmed, undeserving, and at times, as if you’ve failed to make the right decision in leaving a previous position. In other cases, you might find yourself overly excited, and discover that as you transition into your new position, your visions of grandeur are unfulfilled and have left you with feelings of indecision on how best to complete your job transition.
Listen more — talk less
While you certainly want to make a great impression right off the bat, sometimes it’s best to take it all in for a while before opening your mouth. This isn’t to say you should clam up and not say a word, but before you start spouting off about all that you know, think, consider, and listen. No one likes a know-it-all, and while you may have had plenty of experience with the role in which you find yourself, the way they do things at your new company or organization might be different than you did them before. Therefore, listen to what your new co-workers and team members have to say before cutting them off with an all-knowing attitude. You can avoid costly missteps at this early juncture in your job change.
Reference previous positions carefully
You should understand that bringing input and information from a previous job is important and may have been main reason you were hired by your new employer in the first place. However, constantly referring to how “WE used to do it back at XYZ,” can be aggravating to co-workers and your superiors. While they certainly expect you to fall back upon previous training to make your transition easier, they also expect you to adapt and change to fit their company standards. Constantly referring to your old work, especially for an extended time after your transition, can show an unwillingness and/or an inability to change and adhere to your new company’s standards.
Learn while already knowing
Sometimes it is necessary to talk the talk even though you can’t quite walk the walk yet. This is especially true if you aren’t quite up to speed but co-workers expect you already to understand the job. While your previous work experience might have laid the groundwork for your new position, you most likely won’t know everything right off the bat. It is therefore important to avoid snap judgments or decisions regarding things with which you have no experience or expertise while at the same time not letting on that you aren’t sure what to do. Appearing unknowledgeable to those working for you, can diminish your authority in their eyes and can lose you respect. Therefore, find a way to waylay the decision temporarily while you research the proper course of action before proceeding.
Utilize your team members
It is important to ensure that you effectively utilize those around you who already have an understanding of how things are done. There is certainly a line to be drawn between utilizing them and completely relying on them to do your job of course, but they can be an important tool in making your transition smoother. Keep your team members operating at peak efficiency until you have your feet under you. Make them aware that it will take a little time for you to become fully acclimated to this new environment. This will make them feel needed, more appreciated, and make your life easier. It is rare to find a person who does not want to show you how much they know, so make use of that desire.
Be firm but fair
When transitioning into a leadership role, be firm but fair. While in most cases you don’t want to go in and start laying down the law without having a complete understanding of your work environment, you also don’t want to be taken advantage of. Make sure that you treat people fairly, utilize their potential, but don’t let them walk all over you just because you’re the new person. Assert yourself, let them know your expectations, keep everyone on a tight string, but don’t step on too many toes in the process.
Learn new skills
With a new job you might feel the need to have expertise in one or more areas in order to progress in your career. These days there are many colleges that offer certificate courses as well as degree programs online. You can pursue online degrees in subjects ranging from accounting, to marketing, to psychology and even in subjects like nursing and healthcare. Get started by taking a look at our comprehensive listing of such programs in our online degrees channel.