Career Pathways (September, 2011)
September 29, 2011Are you a seasoned worker who has recently changed jobs?
You probably have given very little thought to being “new” employee and what you need to do during your first year to be successful. However, whenever you change careers, jobs, or take on a new role, on a certain level you are starting from scratch again. However, most people who are experienced believe that they do not have to worry about being new to the workplace. After all, they are familiar with work expectations, rules and routines.
Nevertheless, from a “new” staff member to a “new” CEO”, anyone can be subject to failure. So, what can you do to make a difference as a new employee and be off to a solid start? First of all, realize and accept that you need to make the transition from experienced employee to new employee. Understand that you will need to adapt to a new organization and its culture. New behavioral learning will take place to fit into the new culture and you will need to unlearn behaviors that were appropriate to the former employer.
It is hard to adapt to now being the “new” person on the block, but to succeed you need to develop a mindset that allows you to see your first year as a transition period whereby you are learning the new rules and establishing an image and respect with your supervisor, colleagues, and peers. You are indeed starting from scratch! However, what you have than a truly “new” employee does not have is your professional maturity. What you have been hired for is your functional experience and expertise. What is not transferable is your cultural experience from another organization. Letting go of old ways of thinking and starting with a clean slate is the first step in becoming integrated into your new organization.
Next, you have to prove yourself all over again; earning acceptance, respect, and creditability. Do not assume it will happen just because of your prior experience and successes. Your ability to quickly and easily adapt to new situations and challenges will definitely have an impact on being acknowledged by other people and being able to perform at an outstanding level. Steps to be taken:
- Adopt the right attitudes: positive mindset, commitment, open-mindedness
- Adjust your expectations to be less of a gap between reality and assumptions
- Appreciate your new organization’s culture by admitting what you do not know
- Make initiating strong working relationships throughout the organization a priority
- Be aware of your projected image and do things that you know people want to see
- Understand your new-role situation: pay your dues, find your niche, see the bigger picture
- Manage this transition stage by thinking about how you can be more effective and prevent mistakes
Annabelle Reitman Ed.D., a career management consultant and author has over 30 years experience in career coaching/counseling and is a member of the TTN-Washington DC Chapter. She specializes in clients experiencing transition as they undergo a career change or shift. Her tag line, “Possibilities without Assumptions” summarizes her philosophy and approach to working with people. She can be reached at: email@example.com or 703-370-6966 or view her profile on www.linkedin.com