Tips & Tricks for Changing Jobs

by | Dec 14, 2022 | Career Advice, Job Search

Graceful Transitions

You’ve been scanning jobs online, checking in with your growing network and interviewing for new positions. Finally – it happens. You are offered a new role, you accept and it’s time to transition. Now what? I get this question pretty regularly. It’s common. How can you make your transition graceful and a highlight of your year? By being graceful. Here are the tactical activities you should consider as you transition. 

  1. Think about your manager. The one you are leaving. What do they need to support your smooth transition to a new role? Here are some ideas.Write up the requisition language that describes your roles and responsibilities, lays out what minimum experience someone needs to fill your role and explains why the role is important to the group and to Intel. You’ve been interviewing and reading job postings. So it should be relatively easy to document and advertise your current role. You are the one doing it, you understand what it’s about, and you know it best. Help someone who is looking for an opportunity understand what they will learn in your old role. Sell it! This is good practice regardless of whether or not you are planning to change jobs tomorrow or in six months. Getting clear and succinct on your role details and its value will spark some interesting conversations with your manager and will give them a clearer understanding of what you do. It may also help you identify a successor if you are in a critical role and know that in order to move on, your replacement will need to be found quickly.

  2. Write up your goodbye note your manager will send out. It’s that note that details out what you brought to the organization, your role and your legacy that you are leaving behind. This takes the burden off your boss. You can write up bullets to help them remember or write a few paragraphs they can choose from and add to their own thoughts. You are enabling your manager and reflecting on what the role taught you and how you impacted the organization. This will also help you with the next bullet.

  3. Think about what you’ve done in this role. Reflect. Document.Write up your Resume paragraph for the role you are leaving using some of the information from your goodbye note. In addition, what facts, figures, information, skills, and results can you describe and include in your resume going forward. Pass this by your manager to make sure you’re not spilling any company secrets. Be careful not to include any secret names or projects that have yet to be announced outside of your company. When in doubt, leave it out.

  4. Show Gratitude and give the gift of Feedback. Think about who helped you while you were in this role. Thank them!Write some recommendations on LinkedIn for co-workers and business partners who were excellent to work with during your time in the role. It only needs to be three sentences for each person. Again, remember not to spill any secrets or use any project names that aren’t public knowledge. What a gift!

  5. Write up your transition plan. Think about who is staying behind as you transition out. Get serious about transition planning. I used a simple Word document which helps me think about what I need to do to leave my role and make sure everything is covered before I go. The transition plan can also show a shift from your current job to your new job. Starting at 100% old job and moving to 100% new job over a few weeks. If you’ve done a good job cross-training others and documenting your role, it can take much less time. Break your plan into a few categories – meetings, roles, tasks, resources, and ‘how to’ instructions. Now document what meetings you attend, what role you play in the meeting, what regular work or tasks you do, where you keep your work, and how you do certain processes. In the second column, make some initial recommendations of who should pick up those items if your successor is not named before you leave. Keep that list close as you do your tasks and keep adding to it, honing it and refining it. Once it’s been announced you are leaving, review it with stakeholders. Get feedback. Adjust again. As you complete an item’s transition, grey it out or mark it done. Keep good notes. Keep sharing the document with your key stakeholders so they can see the progress. This will help keep you all on track so you transition in a timely fashion and the communication will calm nerves and prepare folks for your departure. If you don’t document, you run the risk of dropping critical work and ruining your reputation. If you’re transferring internally in your company, you run the risk of never ending your job or having the transition drag on for months.

  6. If you are a manager, write transition reviews for each of your employees. Give them the gift of feedback. Prepare these documents, review them with your employees when it’s time and then review them with the incoming manager who will replace you with the employee so everyone is on the same page. If you are transitioning internally, write up your accomplishments for the year and schedule a 2:1 with your current manager and your new manager. Make sure there is a hand-off and they discuss your strengths and accomplishments.

  7. Think about the new person coming in. The person who will take over your role.Develop a ramp plan for them. Who do they need to know? Why do they need to know them? What do they need to know? Where can they learn about their new role? What will help them come up to speed quickly? Document and review it with your current manager. 

  8. On the flip side, what will you need to learn in your new role? Have they developed a ramp plan for you? If not, then start one for your new role and work with your new manager and co-workers to fill it in. Take action to ensure you are coming up to speed quickly. Document and keep adding to it as you learn more. It’s a great way to keep tabs on what you’ve learned and show your new manager your energy and enthusiasm for your new role.

I would like to leave you with some reminders. Planning and documenting transitions will help you in the long run. People will remember if you did a good job or not. They’ll talk about you when you’re gone. And you may end up working for or with them again. In my 25 years, I worked for the same three managers for 15 years. As I grew and they grew, we kept moving around. I worked for one of those managers on three different jobs. Keep that in mind as you plan your career moves and transition gracefully.

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