Career change is more prevalent now than ever. But there is little written on what it takes to transition to a new job, a new career or a new environment.
When we need to venture into the unknown, anxiety may set in. Self doubt may arise and we may start to question if we have made the right decision after all.
I have changed jobs many times in my twenty years as a pharmacist. Sometimes, the change is related to a career growth. Other times, it is necessary due to relocation. I have also made a conscious decision to change my career for family reasons.
One way or another, I have dealt with many changes in my career . Based on my own experience, below are my 5 recommended Do’s and Don’t.
Be humble. Let’s face it. You don’t know anything about the new job or the new role other than the written job description. The first thing is setting the right attitude which includes a mega dose of humility. Sometimes this means swallowing your ego. This will help people to get comfortable with you and share their wisdom and knowledge.
Be reflective. This is another big piece of the success factor. Reflect what you don’t know and what you already know. During the orientation period, it is important to identify your learning gaps and figure out how to close them with the resources available. And work hard to learn them all.
Be assertive. This may be a given. But being assertive is a right mix of passiveness and aggressiveness. There will be situations where you need to just sit there and observe. But there will be scenarios where you need to get up and go. It is important to differentiate between the two and know what questions to ask and when to ask them.
Be patient. It can take time to get to understand your new role or your new job. It cannot be rushed. You may need to wait for the right individual to set you up on the right path, or explain things to you. You may feel vulnerable or not in control. That’s okay. Just be patient.
Seize the opportunity. But when the opportunity comes to demonstrate your knowledge and skills, be prepared and be ready. If you have done well to learn what you require for your job, then the right time will arrive to demonstrate yourself well.
Don’t be an jerk. This may be self explanatory. But first impression is very important. Don’t mess it up by being a jerk.
Don’t have expectations yet. I also think it is important not to set any expectations during the orientation. It may be premature to do so. I generally save them for when I have gained a better understanding for my role and my job. Another way of looking at it is to keep an open mind.
Don’t be quick to judge or criticize. Sometimes it may be quick to point out deficiencies or imperfections. But keep those to yourself. Unless I have learned to do the job independently well, I may not be fully aware of all the challenges. But don’t forget about them. Your fresh set of eyes may help discover innovative solutions to their problems later on.
Don’t be afraid to share what you know. A part of joining a new organization is that you come with knowledge, skills and experiences that may be helpful. Share them if they are relevant. Share in the context of helping to bring a solution. Share with the right attitude.
Don’t forget to be yourself. Finally, don’t hide who you are. If you want to grow and be a part of the organization, you need to show your true self and integrate with the team well. It may be intimidating at first in a new environment. But with time, your true character should come out and be a valuable contribution to the team or organization.
If you are considering a career change, I congratulate you for taking a bold step forward. I hope these personal tips are helpful to set you on a right path.