Adapting to a New Career

Settling in to a new role can be a challenge, whether you've entered it to pursue your passion or have been led to it due to economic necessity. Here are some tips for a smooth transition.

Starting a new career is exciting and you probably have lots of plans and goals for where it may lead you. However, you should start with an open mind and adjust your expectations as needed. If you've just received a certification or a new degree to change jobs, you may find that the real life experience is a bit different to what you've been taught. Going from a higher position in your previous career to starting fresh in a new one can also be a humbling experience.

Ask lots of questions and observe your new environment. Find out clearly what's expected of you, take notes and write yourself reminders. Learn all you can about the company's culture and mission and observe how others fit into it. Then consider where you fit in yourself.

To fit into the company culture and grow in your new career, start building relationships with the colleagues on your team as well as with those in relevant departments who could be helpful to you. Some companies may offer a mentor system for new employees, but if yours doesn't, you can still find a more senior colleague you admire to serve as an example or informal mentor.

As you learn your way around your new job and build relationships, you're making an important first impression. In these early days, seek out opportunities to contribute. Think about how your own unique skill set can make a contribution to the work and help you stand out. Although you're new in the field, you may offer a fresh perspective that will be appreciated.


Manage your expectations
Be willing and eager to learn
Begin building relationships
Look for opportunities to contribute