So, when you finally do land a position, the feelings of elation and relief will be palpable. Oftentimes, however, the emotional tension felt during the transition does not fully lift when the job search process is over. Now you are faced with a new challenge. Starting a new job can be overwhelming, and can require you to re-align your routine, priorities and responsibilities.
If you find yourself nervous about heading back to work or starting a new position, you may benefit from these 5 strategies to help ease the transition:
Prepare Your Family
People who are closest to you often experience the changes occurring in your life with similar intensity. So, you can be sure that when you make a move to a new job – with it’s new demands on your time and energy – your family will be affected. You can help your spouse, kids, or anyone else in your immediate family affected by the change by setting clear expectations of what’s to come. A few days before you start a new job, sit down together to talk about your new schedule. School-aged kids who are old enough to understand the changes will benefit the most from having a talk. This will also give them an opportunity to ask questions and voice any concerns. If you will be gone for extended periods (for work-related travel), or if a caretaker will need to step in – this kind of conversation will be particularly important.
Go to Sleep Early, Starting on Weekends
It goes without saying that you cannot do your best when you are tired. And a new job will be certain to sap your energy as you ramp up to speed. You may be going on overdrive in the office. And it may be hard to relax when you get home, as you process your new experiences, as well as try to carve out quality time with family at the end of the day. It’s easy to stretch out the night into the wee hours, but resist the urge to do it all. The garbage can wait another day to be taken out. The mail does not have to be opened today. Go to bed an hour early. Arianna Huffington said it best. “Everything you do, you’ll do better with a good night’s sleep.”
Be Ready to Work Hard and Do Your Best from Day One
Whether you will be working in a similar role in a new company, or making a big career change, you will likely have a steep learning curve transitioning to your new responsibilities and getting acquainted with a new company culture. You’ve shown in the interview process that you have the experience to do the job, and you passed the “fit” test. But whatever your prior accomplishments, as a new recruit you will still have to prove yourself all over again. The faster you build your credibility by working hard and being a team-player, the better your long-term chances of success at the new company.
Focus on Building Relationships with Your New Co-workers
You are a new guy (or gal) at the office. Making new friends is never easy, and it can be particularly challenging when you are joining an already formed team. But making close connections with people you work with can be crucial not only to your on-going job performance, but to your overall well-being. Spend some time getting to know your new co-workers not only professionally, but personally, over coffee or lunch. As they so aptly say, it will feed your stomach and will nourish your soul.
Thank and Keep in Touch with People Who Helped You
We all have a network of people we look to for help when we are in a transition. They are our family, friends, past colleagues, acquaintances, or people whom we don’t yet know but could be introduced to by our inner circle. Networking is a crucial part of making a job change, and it is a well-known fact that most times you will find your new position through someone in your network, rather than through job boards, recruiters or cold calls.
If you were lucky to have people who helped you, remember and thank them after the fact. Whatever their contributions and gestures of support – these are your friends who you can count on. One day you’ll be there for them.