Well…..yes I have done it several times, I have succesfully changed jobs and what was more important, it has always been an incredible, beautiful, enriching experience.
And that is what I want to share, the experience of the transition to a new job and the look outs of the marvelous things that you will add to your professional life while you are in this phase of your career.
I have changed jobs (and schools) several times, sometimes for family reasons and others for professional reasons. I have always started my journeys with curiosity but also with anxiety, asking the usual questions such as, should I apply for the job? How will it boost my CV? What skills will I need? Could I acquire those expertises where I am now? If you answer negatively to most of your internal questions, do not go for it, it will not be your opportunity, you will struggle and regret your decision, but if the positives aspects are more than the negatives, then go for it, apply and start your journey…who could tell where this new path will take you.
The new phase starts from the moment you decide to take your shot, to go for it. Prepare well for the interview, investigate more about the role, learn from others that have a wider network or are aware about the new company, read about the industry if it differs from yours, or read about the new city where you could be potentially living in, is it a city by the sea or by the mountain? Do they have a good outdoors or a vibrant theatre scene ? All of this information will help you feel already part of your future community, you start envisaging what your new life could look like, of course just do not follow your dreams, do not think that everything will be perfect and there will be no issues or challenges, that will not be the case…. be prepared also for the challenges.
Have a look at your potential new office, are they modern? How do they differ from your actual offices? More sun light or more space? do they offer an internal gym? Free coffee? Only if you like what you are imaging, prepare well for your interview and make it a success….and get ready for change, be flexible, be humble….remember you are accepting the new job because you want to lead but also because you want to learn. What might have taken you where you are today may not be perfect for your future phase. You might need to change some aspects of your managment style, that is part of adding new skills to your already wealthy knowledge.
When you arrive to your new job, make sure you introduce yourself , first impression will always reside with people, make sure you let your new co-workers know what you are good at on the job and outside the office. If you have a management role, make sure you share what is your management style, your approach to people. If you are more of a strategical person, then let them know how you would like to manage some of those brainstorming meetings or planning sessions. Get to know your new boss, sit with him/her and understand what are their objectives, how can you contribute to the wider agenda of the departmentment they lead, let them know that you want to contribute to their future successes, if they succed you will succed in your new post!!! Do not under estimate this aspect. It will be crucial for your future career ambitions. Let people know what is the best way to work with you. And network ….yes network, get to know people in your new community, there will be days that you will feel very lonely, you will miss your old job, your old lifestyle, your old gym trainer, your local library etc. and at this stage, it will be very important that your transition to your new job stays positive, this is the critical stage, which I have branded as “the end of the honey- moon and back to reality” stage. It is important that the new reality has a positive effect, that you have been able to create your ecosystem that works as a parachute to help you throught the daily challenges. Plan on how to smooth those challenges, make sure that in the office you do feel part of the new team, that if you need help you have a co- worker that you can talk with over a nice, warm cup of cofee or tea. Be aware that not all people that you will encounter will like you (this happens often in life) but be aware with whom you have connected and who is not yet there…this is important to have it clear in your mind , because if you need support in the office, you need to know on who you can relay on and be releaxed with, but you must have done your homework before, you must have invested your time in your ecosystem before hand, before the need of support could potentially raise.
While you settle in the new job, make sure you have a plan, what is that you would like to achieve, do not forget WHY you applied for the change….and ask yourself if you area achieving your goals or if you need to make changes and, if you have reached all your objectives it means that your transformational journey is over. It is time to build on your new opportunity and make it stable and solid. Keep a list of all the new skills that you have acquired and think on how you will use them or explore them in your new job, create a fresh management style, and see where you will be next …..life never stops, change is always there to make you a fuller, richer person. Approach change in a way to gain the maximum benefits from it, do not let anyone pigeon box you forever, not even your inner you!!! There might be a better YOU that will emerge from your new job.