How to Make a Smooth and Constructive Job Transition

career changeWhether you’re changing companies or moving into a new role with the same employer, including job promotions, ‘new kid on the block’ feelings are highly likely. Yet job transitions are an ideal opportunity to bolster and reinvent our personal brand – to re-assess and build on our professional strengths, skills and areas of expertise. Particularly when such changes are founded on steady, positive acceptance of the need to grow and evolve how we think and perform within our role.

Some tips to consider when starting out in a new role, to ensure a smooth and constructive initiation, are as follows:

Leave your baggage at the door:  The old adage that first impressions count is highly relevant when you’re in the initial stages of a job change. No matter how stressful or negative your experiences were in your former role, don’t bring these with you into your next role. Instead, convey proactivity, objectivity and a willingness to learn on the job as soon as you walk through that new door of opportunity.

Expect doubts and niggles:  No job is going to feel immediately ‘right’ the moment you step into it, so accept those newcomer ‘can I do this’ feelings and try to positively outride and override them. Furthermore, employers often talk up a role as much as the interviewee has talked up their capabilities, so don’t be too surprised if some elements of the role diverge from your initial expectations.

Set expectations and boundaries:  From your first day in your new role, start setting ground-rules on what your colleagues can expect from you, and what you’d prefer they don’t expect from you. Ask plenty of questions to fully understand the scope of your role. Accept and learn from your rookie mistakes – keep notes on your findings including the corresponding guidance from others.

Take your time getting to know others:  Make the effort to get to know your colleagues by name – retain as many names as you can from the outset. Avoid office gossip and politics from the get-go, and trust your own private judgement and instincts when working out how those around you tick. Also, promote yourself as a team player – listen, collaborate and learn from those around you, and consider taking on a mentor.

Avoid trying to reinvent the broken wheel:  It’s highly beneficial to spend time analysing what’s been attempted by your predecessors, to both learn from such efforts and to avoid wasting time trying something that has already proven to be ineffective. Also ensure any innovations and/or improvements you’re considering introducing to the organisation align with the overall business strategy and objectives. Set your own personal goals and monitor how you progress – self-acknowledge and list your accomplishments for future reference.

There’s no doubt that a job change can be both daunting and emotionally-draining, but if you’re accepting of the initial hiccups and have a strategy in place to help you ride out any doubts or issues, your assimilation into a new role is far likely to be less stressful. Embrace being the ‘new kid on the block’ and use this time to extend on your knowledge and expertise, to the benefit of both your own personal brand and the company you’re working for.


Sarah Cronin Consulting has extensive experience in collaborating and consulting with clients throughout their job transitions. From devising job-winning career documentation, to providing interview training and job search coaching, professionalism and career enhancement are the primary objectives. Contact us if you’re considering changing jobs and would like to find out more.

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