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Experiencing A Major Work Transition? 3 Ways To Stay Ahead Of The Game

Posted on the 11 February 2015 by Ncrimaldi @MsCareerGirl

As you gain momentum in your career and develop yourself professionally, it is inevitable that at some point you will find yourself navigating a major work transition.

Whether it’s becoming a boss, acquiring a new boss, undergoing department restructuring, or making a fresh start with a new company entirely- you will have to learn how to survive the transition period.

This is undoubtedly an extremely challenging time no matter the circumstances, but a savvy career woman has a few tricks up her sleeve in order to stay ahead of the game. Just remember to stay positive, remain engaged, and to keep the following 3 things in mind…

1. Get cozy with your team. It is important to familiarize yourself with the dynamic of your new surroundings. First and foremost, make an effort to establish an open dialog with your coworkers. In order to do this, you simply have to be friendly and interested. Acquaint yourself with the philosophies around you. Does your new company/boss/department place a strong emphasis on teamwork? What are some of your common goals?


Identify shared areas of interest and use them as icebreakers. Effective communication is much easier when you are all on the same page.

2. Learn the language. Every industry has its own lingo and every individual has their own unique way of getting their message across. The method that you use to communicate can bolster, or botch, your transition period. Pay attention to your head honcho’s managing style; do they adopt a directing, team-oriented, or participatory attitude? Perhaps they prefer a more informal interaction with their employees in order to break down barriers and encourage teamwork. Effectively interpreting the style in which your team is led can save you lots of frustration. For some great tips on how to take the lead and manage your boss, check out this Forbes article.

and when the going gets tough, remember this fun yet effective saying…

3. “Not my monkeys, not my circus.” You are not responsible for the dysfunctional dynamic of a department, the poor habits of certain coworkers, or the tyrannical behavior of a controlling boss. Sometimes we have to deal with difficult situations in the best way we can, and that is made easier by remembering to keep out of the drama. Keep your mind sharp and your focus clear. Check out The Drama-Hater’s Guide to Dealing With Office Politics for some no-nonsense advice on how to get this done effectively.

Do you have any tips on how to survive a difficult workplace transition?

Tweet them to me @sncueto or @MsCareerGirl!


Want to read more? Here’s a book recommendation: Assess for Success: A Practitioner's Handbook on Transition Assessment

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