Leaving your current role and starting a new job isn’t always an easy transition. The final few weeks at your current role almost always turns out to be a very busy period and involves lots of handover: forwarding to emails, advising colleagues of your project updates, informing your clients of their new point of contact, and wrapping up your final duties.
All of this is happening while you should also be preparing to start the next challenge: your new job.
So how can you make the move as smooth as possible? Follow our six top tips to make your last weeks at your old job – and your first weeks at your new job – easier to manage.
Let your network know you’re moving on
On your last day in your current office, depending on your role, it may be courteous to share an update with your professional network, such as on LinkedIn, to announce you are leaving for a new career opportunity. It’s also a good time to acknowledge everything you learnt from your former position, as a way to demonstrate your gratitude for the experience.
If appropriate, do the same via an internal email on your last day to inform your colleagues and wider business network. This is also a great chance to highlight your professionality to your soon-to-be former colleagues, leaving them with a good memory of you for the future.
Avoid burning bridges
If your previous workplace or employer was a bad experience, as tempting as it is to be negative about a company you’ve left, remember that nowadays our virtual (and real-world) comments can follow us around for a long time. The last thing you want to do is create a bad impression with your previous company, as you may end up working with the same people again.
Keep your thoughts to yourself and use them as a basis for working out what went wrong, to ensure the same situation does not happen in your new job.
Keep in touch with the right people
Hopefully you’ve managed to build some positive working relationships in your time at your current company. And there’s no reason why you can’t keep the lines of communication open with them after you leave.
For example, you could start building up a more formal mentoring relationship with a respected stakeholder or leader from your former company. Mentors are a proven way to learn in-depth from an experienced peer, and this will cement your professional relationship with them for the long-term. Mentoring could also be an idea for your new company, albeit a little bit further down the line if you deem it appropriate.
Set goals for your new job
When you start your new job, be sure to discuss the key goals you should accomplish in the first few weeks on the job – with your new manager and/or team. It’s a given you’ll need to learn about your new employer as a business, as well as its products and services. You may need to gain certification on a system you’ll be using, or simply getting acquainted with your department’s operational rhythm and processes.
The endless goals for your new job may feel overwhelming, so ask your manager and team, “What are the top 3 priorities this quarter?” or “What are our pain points?” This will allow you to quickly determine what the overall goal is that you’re contributing to, because now you have better context, which may not have been explicitly communicated or was something you were expected to figure out much later as you settled into the role.
No one will expect you to move mountains during your first day of work, but having some preliminary goals will help you understand your new team and role quicker – and lets your new colleagues know you are serious about hitting the ground running.
Don’t panic if you make mistakes
No matter how much experience you have or the depth of skills you bring to the role, starting a new job is always a learning curve. Obviously, you don’t want to be repeating the same errors over and over again. But remember that everyone makes mistakes, and you might be experiencing first-day nerves – so don’t stress too much if you don’t get everything right on the first go.
The important thing is a willingness to learn: listen carefully, take clear notes that you can follow and reference for next time, and consider mistakes as an opportunity to improve and do a better job.
Have fun and embrace the change
Maybe you left your previous role because it was stressful, you didn’t enjoy the work or you were just ready for a new experience somewhere else.
Whatever the case may be, remember you took this opportunity because you wanted a change – so embrace it and let yourself enjoy the challenge. It’s a blank slate for you to own your new role and really shape your career into what you want it to be.
Ready for a change? Get in touch with a Page Personnel consultant to start your search for a rewarding new job.
Join over 4,000 readers!
Get a free weekly update via email here and help kick start your career.