How Can You Successfully Transition From Your Current Position to a New Company?

  1. Do not give your notice to you current employer until you have received a signed offer from the new company, agreed to all the terms and received all applicable documentation: job description, which is an outline of job duties and responsibilities; sign-on bonus; relocation package; benefits information, such as vacation and paid time off; education plan; training; etc.
  2. After carefully reviewing the offer and applicable documentation, sign the offer and either fax (or preferably scan the document and e-mail) a copy back to the company or personally drop it off to their office and confirm that it was received. Confirm your start date/time and find what you can do between now and your official start date. Oftentimes the hiring manager will contact you to welcome you to the company and possibly invite you to lunch. If you do not hear from the hiring manager, take the initiative and call them and express your enthusiasm about joining the company.
  3. Give your two weeks’ notice to your current employer in writing. Be aware of what compensation is owed to you: last paycheck, accrued vacation, medical savings plan, cobra, reimbursement for company expenses, etc. Ask for references from your colleagues. This is the best – and maybe only – time to request this information. Start to gather your personal belongings; do not take any company property without permission. You may be asked to leave upon giving notice. You may be asked to stay beyond the two weeks’ notice to transfer your knowledge. Be professional about this process and do not burn any bridges.
  4. Counter offers from your current employer are not a good idea to consider. The trust has been broken and they may only be keeping you around until they find your replacement. Remember the reasons why you went looking for a new position in the first place? Was it more money, a more challenging position, stronger leadership, to gain knowledge from a new industry, etc.? Please review the material on our website [] in “FAQ”, “Why Counteroffers Do Not Work”.
  5. Take a two-week vacation – this is very important! This may be your last vacation for a year. Tie up any loose ends and relax – you deserve it.
  6. From day one it is important to read the culture in your new company. Your first goal is analyze the new company, management, peers and direct reports and to identify their culture and style. This is an important step in understanding the similarities and potential differences. If we conducted the search, we would have already provided you and your team members with the New Hire Integration Report. Be a good researcher, watch and listen carefully and ask questions of your new colleagues to gather this important information.
  7. Find out early on who you can and cannot trust, who your allies are and who are your enemies. Depending upon your position, some may not be pleased about your presence while others will be relieved to have you on board. At this point, it is important to build your alliances and develop business relationships with your peers, direct reports, boss, community and clients to build trust and credibility quickly. Be careful not to move too quickly without building your alliances.
  8. Be certain that your goals and objectives are in line with the company and management. What business results are expected, by whom and in what priority are critical. The key to this step is to establish agreements among all parties involved.
  9. You may be motivated to hit the ground running with the best intentions and make a big impact early on. This can result in a lack of focus on what is important today. It is important to balance the short-term goals with the long-term goals. Create an action plan to manage your time to successfully accomplish your goals.
  10. It is important to create a clear vision and communicate it to your boss, peers, direct reports and other key players as well as establish formal and informal communication channels to keep the initiatives visible and the message clear.
  11. Balancing the needs of a fast-paced and visible position is challenging. You will be pulled between needing to pace yourself and still achieving impressive results while staying in top performance. It is to everyone’s benefit that you retain your curiosity, enthusiasm and energy over time.

I wish you success in your new position, and remember that this is a transition phase. Remember to read and understand your new culture, build alliances, determine goals and expectations focus on the most critical projects but keep your eye on the long-term projects, create a vision and keep your momentum.