Recently several people have told the story of moving into a new and ‘exciting’ job, only to soon find themselves feeling overwhelmed and disappointed. They found themselves swamped in a role for which they were ill- prepared and had no support. In each case the context was a workplace in a state of flux, restructuring and with poor morale or dysfunction among colleagues.
One of the devastating impacts of finding yourself in a situation such as this is the knock to your confidence which happens when you blame yourself. You begin believing that you are not up to the job or don’t fit with the team. Feedback from management is essential especially when you are new in a role however when it is not forthcoming it can be devastating and leave one feeling isolated and angry.
No one wants to be set up to fail. When transitioning into a new job it is really important to know not only what you want, but also what conditions or training you need so that you can do your job. Unfortunately when looking for work most people accept job offers when they are attracted by the brand, the opportunity and the pay. Often have not done sufficient due diligence to understand what is going on in the business. If they had they would know not only what the company is going through but also what they might experience in terms of support, culture and morale. It is better to ask intelligent questions upfront at interview, to be going into a new role with your eyes wide open and knowing that there could be some compromises. Then you can adjust your expectations and have strategies for dealing with what you find.
Some key tips when making a big career transition:
- know what you want and what conditions you need to do a good job
- ask questions at interview exploring business challenges, culture, morale, management style
- get support either from a good friend, an external coach or an internal mentor or boss
- don’t dwell on negative thoughts; instead practice a mindful approach staying present and calm.
It is also gratifying to know that regardless of how tough a situation at work is, it still builds your character and grows your experience. Sometimes it’s even a lesson in knowing what not to do!