With many professionals looking for greener pastures or changing careers to test new waters, change must be embraced. It is, however, nerve-racking to switch jobs at any level, especially if you have been in a career for a long time. You will definitely need to adapt to the dynamics of the new work schedule, as well as brush shoulders with new colleagues.
How do you manage this change? Which coping strategies do you need to develop? Read on.
Thorough Pre-shifting Evaluation
Preparing for a new job and schedule doesn’t begin right after making the move. It has to begin before moving. Unless you are venturing into self-employment where you will be your own boss, you must evaluate and re-evaluate your decision. Consider the wage structure of the new job. Is it worth the hassle? How about the working hours, tax compliance requirements, job security and growth opportunities? If possible, contact some employees of the company and get some detailed information and make a sound decision. The point is, don’t be in a hurry to change jobs simply because it promises higher financial returns.
Choose a Mentor
Mentoring supplements training. It helps us handle disappointments and importantly, navigate the challenges of a new job. Hence, when you change careers, you need someone to show you the ropes. Ideally, the mentor should be an older colleague in your new workplace. You can also ask the supervisor to be your mentor. While it might be easy to do this, you must be willing to learn and accept your new roles.
Learn Office Protocol
New workplace, new protocol. Knowing who is who in your department or business unit can help you adapt to your job and schedule quickly. Even though you might have a supervisor as your mentor, it is not wise to approach him on an issue that should be handled by another colleague. If you develop a habit of bypassing the workplace protocol, you might damage relationships with coworkers, instead of expanding them. This will only upset your chances of coping well with your new job.
Take it Easy
Do you remember when you started taking driving lessons? You certainly didn’t start the engine on day one and sped off. Such is life in a new job. You don’t automatically just fit in. You take time to learn. So don’t get caught up in trying to please everyone. Take a step at a time. Ease into your roles.
Don’t Get Too Social
It is advisable to start establishing relationships with your new colleagues as soon as possible. However, don’t be too quick to befriend them on social media. You are probably wondering what Facebook and Twitter got to do with coping with a new schedule. By allowing them to join your online network, you will be signing away too much information about your past life. Some nosy workers may want to know what you have been up to lately! Depending on how they judge your social personality, they may find it hard to trust you and keep their distance. With fewer close coworkers, coping with a new job can prove to be difficult.
Plan for Other Activities
A change in your work schedule often means adjusting your priorities. This is crucial for professionals who move from jobs with flexible schedules to those with irregular ones. For instance, if you decide that you are done with sales and move into emergency care, you will have to kiss flexibility goodbye! In jobs with irregular schedules, you will often miss important events, such as your engagement anniversary or kid’s birthday. To ensure your new job doesn’t affect your personal life, plan for other activities to make up for the missed family time. Do not let your family think you are neglecting them.
If your new job doesn’t offer work schedule flexibility, at least you can be flexible with your thoughts and openness to new ideas. With a new job comes uncertainty. You might have left your previous post being the ‘office genius’ only to land at your new job and find colleagues endowed with better brains. Don’t fold yourself in disappointment. Embrace the fact that there are smarter people in the office and work toward enhancing your competence. This way, you will be able to improve your own work ethic.
So, if you were debating whether a career change is a wise move, take the leap of faith and jump ship. Better things might just be ahead of you. If you are already in your new job, you now know how to handle the challenges.
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