It’s tempting to kick back when you land a new job. After all, you’ve probably been consumed with chasing down leads and going on interviews. Now, you want to catch up on fun stuff like hanging out with friends and watching Netflix.
However, you could be missing a great opportunity if you take a break now. A job transition is an ideal time to strengthen your network.
You’ll enjoy your rest and relaxation even more if you take care of business first. Run down this checklist of ideas for extending and deepening your professional relationships as you change employers.
Resign as gracefully as possible. Departing on cordial terms protects your reputation and allows you to maintain connections that you might need in the future.
- Prepare your boss. Give your boss a heads up before you submit your formal resignation letter. Schedule a meeting to tell them about your plans and express your appreciation. Try to be as positive as possible.
- Support your coworkers. Extra work may fall on your colleagues. Minimize the impact by staying productive in your final days and participating in a smooth transition. You might even volunteer to train your successor.
- Stay in touch. Some relationships are likely to fade once you no longer work together. On the other hand, you can make specific plans for the contacts you want to keep. Let your boss and office friends know you look forward to seeing them at industry events or your own private lunch dates.
- Check internet policies. Who owns your LinkedIn account and the personal messages you received on your company email? If your personal and professional identities have blurred, ask your employer what you can take and resolve to keep things separate in the future.
First impressions matter. Get off to a strong start by building connections that will help you to keep advancing in your career.
- Give generously. Whether you’ve been on the job for one day or ten years, the essence of networking is providing value to others. Start sharing your knowledge and enthusiasm as soon as possible.
- Study the environment. Of course, that also means being respectful of your new setting. Pay attention to the office culture and policies, so you’ll be able to reach out appropriately.
- Bond with your boss. Your supervisor is one of the most important figures in your career. Schedule time to meet and ask for feedback.
- Connect with newcomers. Are you the only newbie at the company or one of many? Share your experiences at onboarding sessions and other activities.
- Consult others. Introduce yourself to others around the company. Set up exploratory meetings and coffee dates. Ask lots of questions and take an interest in their work.
- Identify key players. Establish priorities. Devote most of your time and energy to those who have the biggest impact on your work life. Get to know your predecessor if they’re still with the company. Find out who the opinion leaders are. Your boss may be an excellent source of recommendations.
- Branch out. Think long term. You may find valuable contacts outside of your own department or in other companies. Crossing such boundaries can help you to do your own job more effectively and discover new passions.
- Pace yourself. While you may be brimming over with excitement, be sensitive to your colleagues’ workloads and schedules. A gradual approach will protect your popularity.
Skillful networking will enable you to succeed at your new job and keep growing in your career. Focus on helping others and building relationships based on shared goals and values.