By Adriana Trujillo-Villa
You have worked hard to get that dream job, and now it is your time to shine. Still, being in a new position and sometimes even a new organization can be overwhelming at first. Just keep reminding yourself how capable you are and that you are there for a reason.
In my professional journey, I have been fortunate to count on mentors and a strong support group, who often reminded me to keep in mind these steps when I began a new job.
Invest in preparation.
Remember to do your homework about the organization and the community you are becoming a part of before your first day at your new job.
It may be a little stressful to be the new kid on the block, and it is highly recommended to give yourself a break as it takes a few weeks until you know your way around your community and until you remember the names of all the new people you meet at work.
Also, read your organization’s strategic plan and become familiar with priorities and key projects. Take a deep breath, you got this, and as the adage goes, “Rome was not built in a day.”
Continue to ask questions.
If your new job is to be a supervisor, a manager, or even a director, the expectation may be that you know everything about the job and that you need to hit the ground running.
It is beneficial, however, to take the time to meet with key players in your organization and begin establishing relationships. Your direct reports will appreciate it when you show interest in their jobs, show that you care about the regular operations, and show your willingness in having a smooth transition.
Seek the support of your mentors and support group.
Transitioning into a new job can be seriously demanding. Remember your support group and your mentors will be there for you as you write a new chapter in your professional life.
As I grew personally and professionally, my mentors and support group became my biggest supporters and oftentimes my cheerleaders. Rely on your mentors and support group; lean on them as they are happy to help and act as a sounding board in times of need.
Give back: Be a mentor and a coach.
As you ease into your new position, you could consider becoming a mentor and a coach. Young professionals are usually looking for mentors and you could be one of them and also help shape the leaders of tomorrow.
Likewise, you could be a coach within your own organization and support your employees so they can achieve their full potential. Be open and willing to take on the challenge to be a mentor and a coach as the opportunities to encourage other professionals could be within your organization.
Most professionals seek ways to stay current with what is new in their profession. Be one of them and seek training opportunities that will enable you to keep abreast of best management practices and new technologies within your profession.
By staying current you can give back to your organization and your community. If you have areas that need improvement, look for opportunities to develop new skills and advance professionally.
Take care of yourself.
You also need to take the time to take care of the greatest asset you have—you. Make time for yourself and also evaluate four areas of your life: physical, social and emotional, mental, and spiritual.
Strive every day to find the balance between your work life and your personal life. By achieving balance in your life, you become more productive and more in tune to the capabilities and needs of those around you.
And for those professionals who have not yet landed their dream job, take heart. Treat the job you do have as preparation for that future. Don’t be discouraged, keep investing in the areas you want to develop, and, above all, remember to keep your eyes on the prize. 1
1 “Eyes on the Prize, Practical Suggestions for Career Advancement,” Public Management (PM) magazine, Page 28, October 2017, https://icma.org/articles/pm-magazine/eyes-prize.