10 Tips to Make Your Transition to a New Job Go Smoothly
Congratulations on your new job!
Job searching can be stressful – but, you made it! The applications, the interviews, the follow-ups – it can all add up to be a lot of work, which is why some people say that searching for a job can be a job in and of itself. Recognize the hard work you put in to get the job you have now. Celebrate, relax, get settled in, because now the real work starts.
Transitioning to a new job is unlike anything else. In life, change is constant, but a job change is big. We all spend the majority of our waking hours at work, so naturally it can feel like a lot is changing when we change jobs. Know that some days are going to feel better than others, but we are here to help make this transition go as smoothly as possible.
Since 2006, we’ve been supporting professionals like you. From IT to finance and accounting, we’ve seen firsthand what it takes to successfully transition into a new job. Below, we have aggregated the top ten tips to make your transition go smoothly. Even if you WFH, these tips are applicable.
10 Tips to Transitioning to a New Job
- Dress the part.Before starting, you will be given – or should request – the company dress code. We recommend ‘mirror matching,’ that is aligning what you wear with those around you. In the first 1-2 weeks on the job, it’s also a good idea to dress up more than you typically would. Err on the side of formal versus informal. Plus, keep this quote in mind: “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.”
- Be early, stay late.Regardless of your skill level or number of years of experience, you’re the new person now. Which means, it’s time to reset your clock and put the time in to earn the respect of those around you. Be the first one in and the last one to leave. This shows your commitment to your new job, the company and to your new colleagues.
- Make it a point to meet people.Some companies will make it a point to announce you to the team, but not all will. Regardless of the formal or informal introductions the company makes on your behalf (or doesn’t), you should make it a point to say hello to. Introduce yourself before the start of meetings and take ownership of getting people acquainted with who you are and what you do.
- Decide how you want to be known in your new job.One of the best parts of starting a new job is that you get to decide who you want to be. Old office politics don’t apply here, so decide what you want to be known for in your new job. If you want to make it a point to be more collaborative, do that. If you got pigeonholed in your last position as anything less than what you want to be known for now, change it! This is your new beginning.
- Get extra sleep.Your new job is likely making you think more actively throughout the day. You’re not in a groove yet, which is why it’s important to get extra sleep so you can be refueled for the next day. Plus, you don’t want to be the person yawning or who is drowsy by the afternoon. Too many people are going to be paying attention to you for the first several weeks; get extra sleep so you can be alert and at your best.
- Give yourself downtime to unwind and process all of the new things you’re taking in.Similarly, it’s a good idea to clear your schedule the first couple of weeks of starting a new job. Don’t overextend yourself with commitments outside of work. This will allow you to process all of the new information you’re taking in without being bogged down or distracted by outside factors.
- If there’s an after-hours work event or happy hour, go.Part of building relationships is showing up and being present. If there is a team or company organized happy hour or after-work event, go to it. These are a great opportunity to get to know your new colleagues in a non-work environment. Plus, you are more likely to build deeper relationships faster by showing up at these after-hour events and socializing. Word of caution: as much as you want to be present at these events, you also don’t want to be painted as the office party animal either. If alcohol is involved, consume in moderation. There is a balance to be had, and it’s up to you to strike it.
- Take notes.We often take for granted what we’ll remember when we’re learning new things. Again, regardless of your skill level or number of years of experience, this is a new company to you. So, even if you’re well-versed in the job you’ll be doing, you don’t know exactly how to do that job at this company. Take notes. Plus, writing things down shows you are engaged in what people are taking the time to share with you. It’s good form, and it’ll come in handy in case you forget something later on.
- Ask a new colleague to get coffee or go to lunch.Once you get settled in a little more and can identify the people it will be good to network with, it’s a good idea to ask those colleagues to get coffee or to go to lunch. This can be a mentor-type resource you want to get to know better or a peer. Building strategic relationships is a smart idea, and they’re likely the ones you will carry with you regardless of where you, or they, end up long-term.
- Don’t give up.Starting a new job is full of changes. Don’t give up. It can be exhausting and overwhelming, but it can also be exciting and invigorating. Trust that you’ll find your groove and that it – and you – won’t be new forever. Embrace the change and know that amazing things are ahead for you.