If you’ve been on the hunt for a new job and you’ve finally decided that it’s your time, you might feel inclined to drop everything and suddenly jump out of your office window, never to be seen again.
While taking this step might be the very best thing for you, it’s also important that you think things through carefully, and handle it in the right way. How you approach a new position will play a significant role in how things pan out for you both in the short and the long term, so here’s what you need to think about.
Burning Bridges Won’t Help You Long-Term
If you’re leaving your current job due to some tension, mistreatment, or any other negative interactions with your employer or teammates, it’s easy to let your emotions take over when you leave. However, behaving professionally right until you’re out the door is important. Make sure you quit and leave respectfully.
If you’ve only been working in a temporary position or a short-term seasonal contract, it might be okay to quit your job over text, or in a casual conversation. However, any formal, full-time position will require a more formal approach such as an email, a letter, or a serious face-to-face conversation.
Reflecting on Your Motivation is Key
That being said, it’s important to question why you want to leave your current position, and what’s drawing you to your new one. Making sure that your motivations and intentions are in the right place will help you with your decision.
You might be driven by better pay, growth opportunities, or simply the chance of working in a better environment. Any of these reasons are fine, but make sure that you’re not waking away from a good thing just because the going got tough. Remember that in every job, you’ll find things to be unhappy about – you simply need to be able to identify what’s worth dealing with and what isn’t.
You’ll Need a Transition Plan
With all the stress, chaos, and excitement that comes with a new job, many people forget that they need to approach the transition period with care. Simply walking out of one office into the other can make your own life complicated.
Depending on your notice period, ending, and starting dates, you might be forced to jump straight from one work week to the next. However, if at all possible, taking a few days to yourself can be really helpful. Use these days to gather yourself and rest, but also to prepare yourself for your first day. Do some research on the company and the role and get in touch with new team members to learn as much as you can.
You Need to Get to Know a New Company
Remember that starting a new job will mean a whole period of adjustment to a new company. Every business operates differently, has different systems, different expectations, and an entirely different company culture that you’ll need to adjust to,
Keep in mind that this can take time, and you might not necessarily like it at first. Many people are resistant to change, and you may find yourself wishing for your old office back after a week of your new chatty desk mate. However, once you get to know the way things work, you’ll most likely start adapting and enjoying the experience.
It’s Important to Evaluate the Role
Before simply accepting a job offer and handing in your notice or resignation, it’s crucial that you have a thorough understanding of what will be expected of you, what your compensation will be, and how these compare to your current position.
When you’re in a desperate position, any new offer might seem better than where you’re at. But if you’re in the position to be picky, make sure to consider all things very carefully before you commit, and end up regretting it.
Negotiating Wisely Will Be Your Friend
Don’t forget that you can (and should) negotiate your salary and benefits before accepting a job. This is your opportunity to take the offer from a “maybe” worth it to a no-brainer!
Keep your negotiation skills sharp, and make sure that you’re clear and confident about what you can bring to the table at the company you’ve applied at. This can help you make a solid statement for your case, and ensure that you’ll be paid what you’re really worth.
Your Work-Life Balance Might Shift
When you’re starting a new position and trying to impress your new employer, it might take a little extra work to maintain work-life balance. Between getting to know your new role and how to do all your tasks, and working later and going overboard to prove your worth, it’s easy to neglect boundaries and self-care.
The danger in this is that you’ll be setting the expectation and precedent that you’re always going to prioritize work over personal life, which isn’t sustainable. Even though you want to make a good first impression, make sure to set boundaries and take your time off.
You Might Feel Overwhelmed
Things can go from exciting to overwhelming pretty fast when you start a new position. There’s a lot to learn, new people to meet, habits and patterns to adjust, and more. Remember that it’s normal to feel a little overwhelmed and even panicky in the first few weeks.
Take things one day at a time, and give yourself time to learn and adjust to your new position. Nobody will expect you to click everything on day one (or at least they shouldn’t!) and you have plenty of time to make mistakes and learn from them.
First Impressions Count
Finally, keep in mind that first impressions do count. Show up to your interview (and your first day on the job) looking professional and well-prepared.
Be friendly and proactive in getting to know your new team and work environment, and show that you’re ready to make yourself useful from the get-go, even if you’re just grabbing coffee for the office!