5 Steps to a successful career transition
How many of you out there have stepped into new roles and found yourself struggling?
Felt uncertain or lacking confidence?
How many of you are thinking of that next promotion but find yourself holding back or even being passed over?
This can be a very common experience but there some things that you can do to give you the best chance of success.
Build your resilience.
Stepping into a new role is likely to come with a steep learning curve where missteps or early setbacks can really put you on the back foot. Take time to pro-actively build your resilience so if setbacks happen you’re prepared to respond rather than react.
Train yourself to think positively, recognise early setbacks or failures as learning opportunities rather than reasons to think you won’t be able to cut it.
Make sure you turn reflection into pro-active changes and new behaviours rather than perhaps cogitating or over catastrophising what went wrong.
Learn visualisation techniques to help replay the situations with a more positive outcome to short-cut the learning process to new behaviours.
Calibrate your self-image
How you see yourself can impact on your subsequent behaviour and influence how other people see you – you need to see yourself as owning the role without overplaying this and impacting negatively on those you are leading.
The three helpful voices are your core voice, your cautious voice and your confident voice.
Your core voice helps you recognise what makes you uniquely you and able to succeed. Your cautious voice will just hold you back from jumping in too deep too early and your confident voice will help you put yourself forward and step out of your comfort zones. Learn to recognise each voice and when to really use it and listen to it.
The less helpful voices are your critical voice and your conceited voice.
The critical voice acts to undermine you and hold you back – telling you all the reasons that you shouldn’t do something.
The conceited voice will encourage you to think you have all the answers and probably make you overconfident, or even arrogant. This will tend to turn off those around you and build barriers rather than bridges.
Learn to recognise these voices and calibrate them back to Cautious or Confident so they are serving you rather than you serving them.
‘Learn to unlearn’ and ‘learn to learn’
Recognise that when you step into a new role some of the things that have made you successful in your previous role are also the things that might inhibit going forwards.
A key challenge of many people I coach is being able to let go of what has made them successful so far. They continue to do things the same way even though the role demands something different.
They solve problems rather than developing people to solve things themselves, micro-manage so things ‘are done right’ rather than delegate the outcomes and clarify the measures of success. This disengages people, inhibits other people being developed and can lead to trying to do too much yourself.
Learn to notice what is getting in the way so you can unlearn behaviours that are no longer helpful and focus on learning new capabilities that will support you moving forwards.
Know your purpose
Its fairly easy to know what you are supposed to do on a daily basis – you have a job description and probably a set of objectives or KPI’s. It’s much more difficult to know why you’re here.
Take time to understand the Why of You, Your role and Your team/organisation.
At a personal or social level this helps you remember what’s really important to you – your hobbies, family, friends, community and helps you keep things balanced and in perspective and also helps support resilience.
At the role level this helps give your clarity and focus on what’s really important. It can help you differentiate between being really busy and being really effective.
At the team level this helps you build a clear purpose and vision supporting engagement, motivation and even effective delegation. At the organisation level this helps you feels connected to something bigger than you and can support your resilience when things do get tough.
Act with the future in mind
This one is more about setting yourself up for the next transition. Position yourself pro-actively for the next step by taking time out to understand what is needed from you in that role – and then start to practice the new ways of being.
This will start to position you as someone already prepared for the next step rather than being someone looking to take the next step. It will also set you up for success. You will have already started to do most of the above pro-actively so when you step into the role you have already started the journey. This is much easier than stepping into the role and then realising how much you need to learn!