New jobs are thrilling. Having to incorporate yourself into a new community of colleagues? Not so much, especially for those who tend to be introverts.
The transition to a new workplace takes a certain level of intention and purposeful action to make that transition as smooth as possible. And, according to talent consulting firm Visier, the advice can’t come soon enough. Turnover is highest in January, they say.
We’ve created a series of three articles to help you transition effectively. In this post, we’re featuring the advice of Becky Prideaux, a workplace consultant with more than 25 years of experience in the industry.
#1: Write Down the Reasons You’re Getting Your New Job
We’ve all experienced the honeymoon phase of getting a new job but, if we’re honest with ourselves, there are clear moments when we might second-guess our decision to take a new position. It can be tough to leave the stability and security of your current job for the unknown of a new job.
The best way to manage those moments of doubt is to write down the reasons why you took the new job – what excites you? – and keep that list with you for those moments of doubt, Prideaux said.
“After you have been in a new role a little while most people experience a moment when you feel really unsettled and wonder why on earth they changed jobs,” she said. “If and when you do have that moment, this list will help you stay focused and doing a great job.”
#2: Plan Ahead for Your First Day
You want your first day of work to be perfect. That goal may be unattainable, though, if you aren’t clear on some basic logistics like where to park, how bad traffic is and other factors that could cause you to be late.
Talk with your HR department to find out exactly where you need to park, how early you should leave to get to work on time and which types of paperwork or identification you’ll need to complete the onboarding process.
“Knowing you have these details handled will take the pressure off you and allow you to focus on making a great impression rather than turning up late and stressed because you couldn’t find somewhere to park,” she said.
#3: Hire a Success Coach
Prideaux said this tip is a crucial one for those moving into a senior management position, where demands and expectations are high and the margin for error is minuscule.
“Research has shown that having a specialist coach to work with you in your first three months can double the chances of being rated as successful in your new role after your first year,” she said.
Your coach can also help you handle your new relationships by strengthening your view of yourself and helping you navigate the various personalities in your new workplace.
#4: Set Boundaries on Your Work Hours
During the first month of a new job, you’ll be motivated to show your new co-workers and bosses that you are reliable and educated. This mindset may lead to you working more hours than you normally would.
However, Prideaux said, this can backfire on you because it may give your new employer the impression that you always want to work late and are willing to sacrifice your work-life balance for the company.
Therefore, you should consider hard boundaries in your first month that define your priorities. Once those boundaries are set, you can deviate when needed.
“Especially in management and leadership roles there is often a pressure to be at work or available for very long hours,” she noted. “Important though it is, work is only part of your life and it needs to work for you in conjunction with everything else,” she noted. “For example, being clear about how late you are willing to stay and sticking to it from the start is much easier than trying to pull back from long hours later.”
Looking Ahead: More Tips for Transitioning to a New Workplace
Getting a new job is exhilarating and taxing at the same time. As we mentioned in the introduction to this post, it helps to set clear goals for your first month in the workplace.
We’ll help you meet those goals in two subsequent posts in which we provide insight from a multitude of experts and workplace consultants.