How To Transition From One Job To The Next

How To Transition From One Job To The Next

Jesse Langley specializes in writing about education, professional and personal development, and career building and writes on behalf of Colorado Technical University.

Transitioning to a new stage in life is never easy. When doing so, some professionals take a hasty approach that often makes the transition more difficult than it needs to be. Although you may not be able to prepare for every obstacle that may arise during your career transition, it is best to plan as much as possible before moving from one job to the next.  Here are three tips to keep in mind before you give your 2 week’s notice:

1) Be honest

Once you have made the decision to switch jobs, it’s important to be open about your decision. Never search for your new job during work hours, and don’t spring your decision on your boss at the last minute. Naturally, letting your boss know you are looking for a new job can be an intimidating task that comes with a lot of risk, but as you get closer to your transition timeliness is important in alerting your boss about the changes you are making. Remember, don’t make any haste decisions, but be mindful that other individuals and departments will be affected by your decision.

If you have made some good friends at your job, you don’t have to assume that this transition includes leaving them behind. Once you have informed your boss of your decision, be sure to let your co-workers know why you’re leaving the position and that you still wish to keep in touch and stay on good terms. Doing so can help you maintain connections and build your professional network.

2) Be Accommodating

If you work at a job where the workload is always high and big projects are consistently lined up, it can be difficult to manage an effective transition without the guilt of dumping your workload onto your co-workers. To avoid this, outline your concerns with your boss and identify areas he or she can limit the workload during your transition. Set your own boundaries for when your portion of the work is over. For example, “once I complete projects X, Y, and Z, I will leave for good.” Be open about your decision, and avoid getting sucked into more work than you intended to complete.

3) Be Proactive

Sometimes professionals make the decision to transfer from a job back to school. Becoming a student again after several years in the workforce can be a pretty dramatic transition, which is why you should strive to make yourself as comfortable as possible when making decisions for your education. For example, you might want to consider taking classes online instead of classes in a traditional classroom setting to enable yourself to work at your own pace and outside of an environment with many younger students.

Although transitioning comes with struggles and discomfort, it’s one of those necessary aspects of life that facilitates both personal and professional growth. Think of it as an opportunity to start over fresh and a way to add excitement to your life. Doing so will help motivate you to make the most out of your new stage.

Have you changed jobs lately?  What are your tips?

Photo Source



About Anna Runyan

Anna Runyan has been helping women get their careers unstuck since 2008. She is known for “The Love Your Career Formula” which helps women find new careers they LOVE in 90 days or less and “The Corporate Rescue Plan” which helps women ditch their day jobs and start profitable, freedom-based online businesses in 90 days. Make sure you sign up for her Free ‘CHEAT SHEET’– 7 proven steps to get out of a job you hate and into a career you love.


  1. Thanks for sharing these great tips!

    I’m in the process of making a job transition within my company and these same rules apply.

    Talking to my current supervisor about my plans to move into a different role within the company was very intimidating in my mind. Actually talking to my supervisor went a lot better than I expected, and he was supportive of my long-term career goals.

    I practiced being accommodating by delaying my active search for other positions within the company when I found out my co-worker was going to be out on maternity leave. I agreed to commit to my current position until my co-worker returned, and I have stuck with it.

    I’ve contacted an internal recruiter at my company and am staying on top of internal job postings. I feel confident and prepared for the transition because I was honest about my intentions and did my part to support my current department. When a job opportunity comes up, I look forward to leaving my current role with great reputation and ready to tackle the challenges of a new role.

    • Hi Chrysta-Best of luck with your job transition! It takes a lot of guts to talk to your supervisor but it usually is a lot less scary than you think it is going to be. It sounds like you have taken great steps to build a solid reputation which will surely pay off int he future! Patience is key because it shows that you want to stick it out for the team and company and makes you very valuable! Congrats!

  2. There is no way I would tell my boss I was looking for a new position until I had it practically in hand, or in hand. Although this advises caution, it also advises telling your boss when you’re still thinking about changing careers. Even if your boss is your best friend, they often have an obligation make sure the company/business is put first, and not your best interests first. There is no way I would show unhappiness with my position unless I was trying to work with my manager on improving my role within the company, but never implying I would want to leave, maybe MAYBE I would say that my five-ten year plan does not involve this position, but only if I thought that could spur discussion for growth.

    Why ruin what you’ve got before you’ve got something else? Sounds like this is advice I would get from my campanies HR manager, who wants to make sure I’m not leaving; not advice from a blog with (hopefully) my best interests in mind.

    I feel like everyone knows if you find something better you would let go of your current job. Such few people are able to find a role in a company that would grow with them over the years, that few expect you to be with the same company when you retire. There are great government jobs where you can do so, but not everyone has a government job. You always do your best to make transitions easier, I’ve offered to work part-time after my transition, and done so for over a month! We had a major deadline coming, and were short-staffed from the start. I still moved on to my career path of chioce, but I continued to devote time outside of the usual 9-5 to make sure I didn’t sideline my old company. But I also made sure they knew it was NOT my intent to keep working for them in this manner, but that I was offering to keep helping until the project was in less turmoil, and that I would leave when I felt I had done what was needed. It went better than I ever could have expected, people were happy I had followed my dreams, and that opportunity had come my way, and they were grateful that I wasn’t leaving them high and dry. They made sure I didn’t work rediculous hours, and left me more busy work than stressful work. I’m still friends with many members of that team! (also, I understand that moving can make this nearly impossible, but that’s just facts of life in my opinion. Again, no sane person would want you to not follow your dreams for the sake of making the first few months without you less stressful)

    • I also wanted to note that working part-time, until the project was nearing completion, was my idea and not my old manager’s. I was fairly attached to the project, and wanted to help ensure that it went well. I also was interested in adding a little extra cash to my savings, and that this was an opportunity for me to do so. If it had not been easy for me to do, or easy for me to leave at any time, I would not have offered or been interested in such an offer. I feel it is vey important to help tranisition while you are still an employee, but that no one has an obligation outside their contracts, and therefore no one should carry guilt about finding something new. Enjoy the new-job excitement! And enjoying knowing your previous coworkers may now have a chance to step-up and prove their own capabilities in your place!

    • Definitely a great point Lauren, you have to be careful if you are going to tell your boss that you are going to leave before you actually have a different job unless you want to be fired. This is a sticky situation because in some cases, telling your boss you aren’t happy might make them actually take action to help you find a position (or salary) you are more happy with. But, on the other hand, telling your boss you are thinking of leaving makes you look like you have little dedication to your company if you are willing to leave. It can swing either way so it really is important to be careful. Thanks for the comment!

    • I think you always do what’s in your best interests, which may mean helping out to a point. You are balancing your next move with the ability to get a good reference, but I would caution over-doing it. Companies should have enough staff and documentation to handle one or two exits. If they cannot afford to lose you, then they should promote you and make a counter-offer. They should not use you while you’re trying to learn your new role and knock one out of the park.

      No one should tell their boss what they’re planning to do unless you have one of those genuine relationships where you can do that kind of thing. In general, the manager looks out for themselves and the company because that is why they are getting paid. This blog and a few others have given out mind blowing advice to the contrary. The risk of being fired or marginalized is not worth it. You should act as a professional, i.e. get your work done and then some while you’re there and looking elsewhere. When it’s time to let them know, ie. the new job is in hand, then you do so. Everyone knows that can happen at any moment, and that’s life.

  3. I am new to the workforce and am interested in international development. I took a job at an amazing and well known organization in November, 2012 that I was very lucky to get, however, the position is not in line with my long term goals and not exactly what I enjoy doing. While I have been here, I have gotten to know other departments, especially one in particular, and that director has become a sort of mentor to me. He recently notified me that a position is coming up in that department that is perfect for me. It would set me up for my long term goals and allow me to really gain experience in my field of interest. I am worried that trying to make a transition so early in the game would be unprofessional especially because I would be transitioning to a different department within the company. I think my team and my supervisors are incredible and the last thing I want to do is burn bridges and make myself and others uncomfortable. Please, any advice is much appreciated.

Speak Your Mind