Modern employment scenarios shift rapidly, prompting an average of several job changes during each worker’s career. Competent employees have greater opportunity today, than at other times in the past; shifting across career lines without suffering professionally. The job market also responds to ever-changing conditions, so businesses aren’t necessarily as dependent on long-held positions. In fact, technology and other influences call for occasional shake-ups to the standard operating procedure, leading to an increasingly mobile workforce.
If you are among job-changers, there are a few important things for you to remember as you make career shifts. Use these approaches to cover all the bases as you change jobs.
Networking is a buzzword reaching cliché status in business, perhaps fostered by LinkedIn and other quasi-social connections available to the modern workforce. But there is more to the process of building business connections than simply harnessing entries for your social media accounts.
Whether you are moving laterally, to a similar position with a different company, or changing job titles altogether, you probably have a considerable amount of momentum behind you – in terms of contacts you’ve made through your job. Leaving your employer doesn’t necessarily mean letting go of the relationships you’ve built along the way.
Protect Your Reputation
Just as you have gotten to know associates and colleagues, banking them as friends and resources, others have placed you in their inner circles, based on what you have done professionally. Changing jobs is not about burning bridges. On the contrary, as you exit your position for greener pastures, take care to maintain the integrity you’ve built-up over time.
Respect your employer by giving proper notice and resist the urge to downplay the significance of your time with the company. In an increasingly mobile and hyper-connected workforce, you are very likely to encounter co-workers in the future; creating awkward reunions when your reputation has been self-compromised.
Insurance and Benefits
Changing jobs likely impacts your insurance coverage and other benefits offered by employers. If your current employer offers health and/or life insurance, take care to understand the specific, related ramifications of transferring to another job. Your goal is to maintain coverage, so it is important to digest both sides of the equation. If your new coverage, for instance, doesn’t take effect immediately; is it possible to carry your current policy over, to bridge the gap?
Certain documentation may be required, in order to transfer employer benefits, so don’t assume a passive approach will cover you.
Shifting jobs requires concrete, proactive steps to unfold seamlessly; but changing employers provides a perfect opportunity for a more abstract look at your career goals, as well. It is kind of like moving to a new home: The improvements you don’t tackle right away sometimes don’t get addressed at all. You moved to the new job for a reason, so take time to identify the subsequent rewards you plan to reap.
As you ease -in to your new role, craft a personal mission statement, outlining specific goals you hope to achieve on the job. Include directions for getting there; and save the statement as a reference, to gauge progress in the future.
Observe and Absorb
Despite being eager to hit the ground running, it is important to remember you are the new kid on the block. Effective assimilation requires observation first, before you stake your ground at your new workplace. Absorb what you can early on, without aligning yourself strongly with individual co-workers, for example; until you know the lay of the land. Eventually, asserting yourself shows fellow staffers you mean business, but not until you understand operations thoroughly.
You may change careers several times during your working years, calling for adjustments as you shift roles. Use the above tips to help smooth the transitions you make between jobs.
This is a guest post by Sarah Brooks from Freepeoplesearch.org. She is a Houston based freelance writer and blogger. Questions and comments can be sent to brooks.sarah23 @ gmail.com.