By: Rachael Durant
Transitioning from an old job to a new one can illicit a lot of emotions: excitement, sadness, nervousness, fear, you name it. However in the midst of managing those emotions, there are also a lot of things you need to consider in order to transition with as much ease as possible. Below are three quick steps to help you have an easy job transition.
Ask for a reasonable start date.
First and foremost, when you receive a new job offer, ask for a start date that is at a minimum two weeks away, as most companies require you give two weeks notice prior to leaving a position. If you can swing it, you should even ask for a longer lead time. While it may seem like you can jump from job to job without skipping a beat, it’s emotionally exhausting to leave a job. On top of that, learning new skills (such as those you learn in a new job) takes a ton of brain power and more energy than you might think. If you can financially handle it, you might appreciate an extra week to relax before taking on something brand new.
When I was leaving my first job, I had asked my new job to start a month later because I was working on a big project with a specific end date. The new job granted my request. When I told this to my old boss at the time, she lamented that I hadn’t taken a few days for myself to decompress. Learn from my mistake - make sure to at least have a weekend in between to give your mind a much needed break. Taking breaks from work in general has enormous other benefits, especially for people in creative fields.
Don't burn bridges.
Work as hard as you can those last two weeks - don't let "senioritis" get the best of you. It's only two more weeks of work, you can do your best. On your last day, give out thank you notes to your coworkers and managers, or at least personally tell them how much you have appreciated working with them and how much you have learned during your time there. Even if you're leaving a job you dislike, maintaining positive relationships with these people is important. You can never be sure where someone you once worked with will end up, and that network can be of great use to you over time. Leaving on a positive note is best for both you and your reputation, regardless of how you feel internally about your old job.
Take stock of your accomplishments.
Lastly, take a minute to appreciate everything you’ve accomplished. At a young age and early in your career, it can be hard to remember how far you’ve come in your current role. While stuck in the day-to-day minutiae, you might lose track of your long-term goals and successes, so it could be useful to write down where you hope to find yourself in one year, five year, ten years, etc. This will give you a goal to work towards in your new role as well as in any other roles that follow. Has your goal changed over time? Fantastic! Rewrite your 1, 5, and 10 year goal plan and work from that from here on out. This is all useful information for you to have as you continue to grow in your profession, and it helps you to see how far you've come.
As you climb the corporate ladder or transition into new roles in life, remember the wise words of A.A Milne, author of Winnie the Pooh: “You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”