Transitioning jobs is one of the most complex decisions many people will make this year. Questions, doubts, and fear will come from every angle and often from many directions at once. Two of the biggest questions are, “How do I know I am making the right decision?” and, “How do I know this transition will be successful?” I cannot answer every question that comes your way, but these five characteristics of a successful job transition can help you answer even some of the most difficult questions.
Motivation. What is your primary motivation for starting down the road of a job transition? Are you running from your current job or are you pursuing something new? If you are running from something, chances are good that you will run right into another job that is mediocre at best. However if you are actively pursuing something you are passionate about, you have much more control over acquiring a position you can thrive in.
Vision. Once you shift your motivation toward your passions, think not only about what you do not want your next position to look like but also what you do want it to look like. Be specific. Do you want greater leadership and influence in the company? Are you looking for more time flexibility, the opportunity to travel, or even a specific corporate culture? What about life outside of work—what do you want that to look like?
Expectations. As you create your vision think through how this affects the job transition to retain clear expectations. It may take a little longer to hold out for something you really want, but expecting to wait will help give you greater patience in the transition. Being realistic about the challenges of any job transition will transform those challenges from obstacles to part of the journey.
Character. Your own character is key to making your job transition successful. Finishing your old job well and on good standing with your coworkers is essential. Transition into a new job with positive momentum behind you.
Confidence. Know your skills and what you offer potential employers so you can answer the tough questions from interviewers and yourself. Take the time to build confidence in yourself through reviewing your past experiences and accomplishments, practicing for interviews, and even one on one coaching to help draw out what you might overlook about your skills set and personal brand.
Take the next step as a leader in a new company knowing your motivation, vision, expectations, and character, and be confident in the skills you have and the brand you offer.