Changing jobs, while exciting and full of promise, can be stressful. Depending on how easily one adapts to change, and how long they've been ingrained in a comfortable routine, some people may feel out of sync-and may even temporarily regret making the much needed change. Here are some tips to help you successfully transition into your new job.
1. Make a Clean, Professional Break. If working, offer your notice in writing, thank your employer for the opportunity and resist the temptation to consider a counter offer. Finish projects and train your peers as best you can to take over your work. A two week notice is standard and provides enough time for you both to tie up the loose ends. Politely decline any pressure to stay longer or delay your start date with your new firm. Your loyalties now lie with your new employer.
2. Remove Yourself from the Hunt. Once you have committed to a new position and company, notify your network, your recruiters and remove any online resumes you may have floating around. A candidate we placed recently wrote a nice email letting everyone know that he'd found the ideal position, thanked everyone for the time and politely asked not to be contacted. It was overwhelming for him to deal with constant calls and emails...and he didn't want to be tempted!
3. Decompress and Recharge, if Possible. A little downtime between jobs goes a long way if you can squeeze it in. Use your accrued vacation time and if offered an opportunity to wrap up and be on your way sooner than 2 weeks, take it. Allow yourself to decompress from the situation you wanted to leave and reenergize yourself with thoughts and excitement around your new role and responsibilities. Take the time to think of all the reasons you made this change, and why you accepted this particular position and company.
4. Prepare for Success. What do you want to accomplish in this new role? What changes will you need to make in order to be successful in this role? Learn a new language, domain, or product? Using the information you gained throughout the interview process, prepare yourself to hit the ground running.
5. A Fresh Start. Everyone loves a clean start, right? Maybe not. If you were at the top of your game, well-respected, confident and knew the technology/product like the back of your hand, it can be downright humbling to be the new guy on the block. Remind yourself that change is good. On a positive note, a clean start allows you to leave any not so great work habits, negative relationships and baggage behind.
6. Give it Time. Even when you are 110% sure you made the right move, to the right company for the right reasons, there will still be adjustments. A new commute, new company culture, new coworkers-and missing the comfort of old friends, routines, even coffee and lunch spots-all serve to leave you feeling a little disoriented and maybe even sad. Give it time. Trust your decision and go for the gusto in making this exciting new opportunity work for you!