In a recent report by Workopolis.com, Canadians can hold approximately 15 different jobs within their careers. Whether it is due to generational differences, job satisfaction, life changes or transitioning to a new career path, this is the new workplace reality.
Technology professionals face unique challenges. While ASET provides resources for members to connect with prospective employers, we also wanted to offer some tips and strategies for transitioning into a new job. Regardless if you’re fresh out of technical school or an experienced employee, here are some things to consider for your new job.
It’s safe to say you’ve probably done a lot of research about your new employer before the job interview. In addition to their specific products and services, you’ve probably learned about the organization’s goals and perhaps the various clients they serve. And you have a good idea on your particular position, and the role it plays in the company’s success.
So now, find out who’s who at your new workplace, within your team and beyond. This is important because taking the time to familiarize yourself with your colleagues, and their roles, will go a long way in adjusting to your new job – especially in technology positions where roles and responsibilities can be very specialized.
It can be overwhelming to be introduced to a large number of new staff when starting, but getting to know them through both formal and informal conversations will give you an idea of your team’s strengths and weakness. You’ll learn who is responsible for specifi c tasks and the right person to ask if you have questions. You’ll begin understanding each colleague’s particular skill and what they bring to the team.
Be sure to listen to what people have to say because it will help to build people’s trust in you. Take notes if you need to. In the end, you’ll start identifying potential allies who can make your job transition smoother.
For most employees transitioning to a new position, they understand each workplace has its own culture. Not just from company-to-company, but even from department-todepartment. So familiarizing yourself with the culture is important in helping you adjust to your new role.
As technology professionals, your work day can consist of working in an office or out in the field; working with fellow employees or meeting with external clients. Learn about the corporate dress code, acceptable language and appropriate behaviours for your position. As certified members, employers have an expectation in your conduct and professionalism.
Beyond the basics of everyday expectations, it’s important to come in with realistic goals while striving to make positive changes. A new employee often starts a new job, wanting to inject a variety of new ideas (probably a big a reason why you were hired). As the new person, remember there is a history at the workplace you might not be aware of, so ease yourself into the position without alienating your new colleagues.
And as with any workplace, there will most likely be some form of office politics and drama. To be successful in your new position, you need to build good working relationships. One of the easiest ways to sabotage that is to associate with office gossip. Steer clear of it for as much as you can – this will help to support your image as a true professional.
One reason why people take new positions is for the opportunity for new challenges. You’re looking to expand your experience and broaden your knowledge within your particular field. Often, this requires learning new technical and soft skills.
People sometimes think they are hired because they can do every aspect of the position from day one. However, many HR professionals do not necessarily hire people who can do every single part of the job – primarily because chances are employees would easily get bored and move on sooner rather than later. Employees are hired because they show a high level of competency and potential to handle the job responsibilities needed in a position.
Based on your job description, list the skills your position requires and identify any personal gaps, such as job-specific safety training or other professional development courses. Research potential classes that address these gaps, such as courses you will find through ASET or other educational partners. There are a variety of opportunities for continued professional development to suit your schedule, often available through the support of your employer.
Understand what you were hired to do, and determine your short- and long-term goals. Create a plan to work towards eliminating any limitations you might have. You’ll find satisfaction in your professional development as you grow, and succeed, in your new position.
Transitioning to a new job is exciting, but can also be stressful for some. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to perform – even your boss doesn’t expect you to have everything figured out from day one. Learn about how success is defined at your company, and try focusing on some “quick wins” to help build your credibility. In the end, you’ll be able to start your new position on the right foot.