I recently received and accepted an offer from a new company. I will be starting a new job in a few weeks! If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably heard about this news. But on Cubicle Chic today I want to share with you what I’m doing now that I am between two jobs, and how I am preparing myself for the next phase of my career.
This is how it goes: after many sleepless nights, numerous interviews, the final negotiations, the constant anticipation, finally, came the phone call. THE phone call that changes everything!
Celebrate, give yourself a pat on the shoulder, and go out and get something nice for yourself because you deserve the reward. And after the adrenaline rush subsides, take a moment to think about what your next steps are.
Leave your current employer on a good note
Do your best to leave a good transition plan for your replacement, and close all the gaps you can foresee. Be honest in your exit interview, provide constructive feedback if there are things you think your current employer could improve on. Lastly, write a heartfelt but concise farewell email to all that you've worked with; include your email in there, and a link to your LinkedIn profile so people can stay in touch with you. This is the last chance for you to make an impression on this professional network, make it count.
Mentally separate yourself from the old, and be ready to embrace the new
This is more of a philosophical note than a practical one. I've seen in the past people that join my team, and cannot stop themselves from using the lingo of "this is how XYZ used to do it" or "the way that we did it before was..." Let's just conclude once and for all that there is no good end to this kind of lingo. If you have good recommendations, don't position it as "the way that XYZ did it"; make it yours! If you don't have good recommendations, well, you shouldn't be making them in the first place. But by associating it with your old company, you come across as still attached and not able to adapt. For example, try to say "it's better to ask why do WE do it this way", and not "why do YOU do it this way" as a tactic to show you are ready to embrace the new culture and environment (Career Girl Daily).
Be strategic in the way you build your new brand
The same way you prepared for all those interviews, you should be thinking about how to rock your first day of work, the first week of work, and the first month, and the first quarter, and so on. Read up on the 30-60-90 Day Plan (Business Insider) and think about the personal goals you'd like to reach on Day 30, Day 60, and Day 90. Think about what you want to be known for, because that is going to be your professional brand.
Also, fine-tune your elevator pitch (MyDomain.com). As part of your introduction to the new teams and new people, one of the first things they will ask you is "where did you come from" and "what did you do before". Be ready to have a concise but to-the-point summary that will effectively summarize your past experiences, and even impress your new co-workers just a little bit.
Use common sense
Listen more than you speak, turn off your personal phone, curb your (hyper)enthusiasm, and observe the culture and blend in. These are all more common sense than actual tactics, but the trick is to remember these things while you are under the pressure of adjusting to a new environment, constantly meeting new people, and wrapping your head around how to hit the ground running with the new employer.
You should also be ready to throw the work-life balance out the window for a while (The Every Girl) and be ready to log in some extra hours just to get up to speed. These extra hours spent in the beginning will pave the way for your success later on, and also leave a good impression on people around you that you are committed and dedicated to success.
Re-think your strengths and weaknesses
Take stock of the work history with your last employer and think of all your successes and failures. Think about how they made you feel, how they changed you, and what you did to make sure you can replicate the success, and avoid making the same mistakes. It may help to write these things down so you can visualize them more clearly. Take the highlights from this list of historic success and failure, and make sure that's your starting point for your next job. Lean on your strengths, and find ways to develop things you are weaker in.
What were the things you did right, or wrong, when you first started your job?
All photography by Natalie Alvarado @ STYLENFUSE.COM