Monday, December 3, 2012

Reinventing Yourself in a New Position

In my last post, I gave tips on what to do when transitioning out of a position and into a new one. The big theme of that post was "preparation," namely to help the work unit you are leaving prepare for your departure through creating a transition plan with your supervisor, documenting procedures, and training your replacement. The Daily Leap is a fount of knowledge when it comes to transitioning into your new position, with great, timely tips here and here and here. There is one aspect of starting a new job, however, that is critical but understated: the potential for reinvention.

In your current role you are a part of a work culture, with certain norms and expectations. You develop practices that meet those characteristics and that fit your style of doing work. A new position provides a moment to reflect on what you are now and who you want to be regarding this new opportunity. In what areas would you like to improve or change? Do you want to develop new work practices, like saying thank you more? Before you start a new position, spend some time reflecting on these questions:

In what ways did I perform in my old position that reflected my core strengths? 

How did I let good and bad habits infiltrate my work in my old position?

If I start my old position over again, what would I change?

What challenges excite me about this new position?

What do I want others to say about me a month into my new position? A year?

What would initiative in my new position look like?

What key relationships do I need to develop to help me become successful in my new position?

The questions  are endless, and the endeavor important. View a new position as a way to create a new reputation for yourself professionally through changing those aspects of your professional character that need changing.

Have any better questions to share? Do so in the comments below!

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