Transition: Preparing for the Workforce

7K0A0879Whether you are a post-grad student looking to enter the workforce for the first time, or in the process of making one of the seven (on average) career transitions most people make in a lifetime, transition can be a very difficult and nerve-racking undertaking.

Transition is physical, psychological, and mental. A successful job transition means functionally succeeding at all the following factors:

  • Adopting the organization’s culture, vision, and methods
  • Making new relationships
  • Establishing your credibility, knowledge, and skill set
  • Learning a new job
  • Establishing and meeting the expectations of a new supervisor
  • Learning to manage your time
  • Setting new goals, objectives, and deliverables
  • Seeking feedback
  • Understanding cultural norms of a new organization (how meetings are conducted, understanding schedules, adapting to new management styles, and learning how to fit in)

With so many factors that contribute to a successful immersion, it’s no wonder it can feel overwhelming starting a new job! But there are some things you can do to help make a smooth transition.

  1. Prepare. Preparation will allow you to focus solely on the task at hand. Prepare by reading up on the organization, asking questions about your role within the organization, and mentally preparing yourself for the tasks at hand. The more you know from the get-go, the more comfortable you feel about your place within the organization.
  2. Make a Clean Break. Make a clean break and leave your old job/school behind. Try not to make comparisons between your old and new situation.
  3. Establish Your Personal Brand. Be prepared to answer a lot of questions about yourself, your education, and your experience. Have an “elevator speech” prepared of points you want to make sure you share about yourself.
  4. Then…Maintain Your Brand. Earn credibility and a good reputation by being friendly, professional, prompt, and on-time. Avoid saying “no” and meet expectations and deadlines.
  5. Establish Credibility. First listen and learn, then advise. Your job in the first weeks of a new position is to listen and learn about the organization, your role, and your co-workers. You need to establish a reputation, and only then are you prepared to advise or instruct.
  6. Make a 30/60/90 Day Plan. The best way to track how you are doing in a new job is to create a 30, 60, and 90-day plan. This helps you stay on track and log your progress.
  7. Manage Stress. Finally, stress is a part of any new job. The best way to deal with adversity is to have a good technique for managing stress.

While starting a new position can be nerve-racking, it can be extremely rewarding also—financially, mentally, and relationally.

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