When you finally get a job offer after a long interview process, it can be tempting to kick back and let out a sigh of relief. After all, you are done, right? Actually, there are a number of things you need to take care of as soon as you know for certain that you are changing jobs. Even if you are only shifting to a new office, there are still some things you will need to handle before you officially begin your new position.
Give your current employer notice that you are leaving.The first thing you need to do after accepting a new job is give your current employer notice that you are leaving. If you are simply transitioning from one position to another in the same company, your team might already have been aware that you might be leaving. If you are changing companies, however, you need to let your current employer know that you are leaving as soon as possible. This will give them time to start shifting your work to other people and begin planning how to handle things long-term when you are gone. They will be able to begin searching for candidates to fulfill your old role so that they are not dealing with a huge disruption.
By leaving, you will likely make some people unhappy. No one likes upheaval in their work life. As long as you give your employer enough notice, however, you have done nothing unprofessional. Even though letting your supervisor and team know that you will be leaving is unpleasant, have that conversation as soon as possible so they can begin thinking about how they will handle things without you rather than leaving them to flounder with a last minute notice.
Withdraw any other applications.Job hunting is a numbers game. No one applies to one job at a time. As such, you are potentially on the short list for other jobs besides the one you just accepted. You need to contact those jobs immediately and let them know that you are withdrawing your application. Do not waste their time or the time of other applicants by letting them continue to believe you are a potential candidate for the job. These calls or emails do not have to be long winded. They simply need to let people know to focus their energy on viable candidates rather than one who has already accepted another job.
Do any necessary paperwork for your new job.Paperwork is an unpleasant necessity in the workplace, and a new job comes with plenty of it. You will likely have insurance and tax forms to sign, an employee handbook to read, official acceptance letters to sign and potentially confidentiality agreements to sign. You will have piles of papers with small print and names that involve strings of random letters and numbers that all need your attention. It is a pain to do, but get it done as soon as possible. This will help your new employer get you in their system and make the transition easier for you.
Prepare to move if necessary.Sometimes taking a new job simply means switching cubicles. Other times, it means picking up your life and moving across the country. Either way, you need to prepare to move to wherever your new workplace or workstation is located.
Moving takes work, time and money. As soon as you get the job, make whatever arrangements need to be made. If you are moving to a place within easy driving distance, decide if you are going to hire a moving company or move yourself. If you need to cross several states or time zones, figure out how you are going to get all of your things there most efficiently. Are you going to ship your car or do a miniature road trip and take it yourself? What things do you really need to pay to move? Does your new place have room for everything or do you need to sell certain things before leaving? Moving is not an easy task, so do not leave it until the last minute.
Take some time to prepare even if you are just shifting offices. You will still likely need to transport files and more personal items with you. This may only take a few minutes, but having a mental plan to set up your new workspace will make the transition easier and allow you to get back to work with minimal disruptions.
Have a plan for handling any schedule changes.Most jobs work on a classic nine-to-five schedule, but that does not mean your schedule is necessarily going to be exactly the same. Your new job might have different start or end times than your previous job or different policies about breaks or lunch hours. You might also be shortening or lengthening your commute to work. All of these have the potential to throw your old schedule into chaos. You might not be able to pick your children up from school anymore, or your old gym might now be too far from your job for you to fit in that morning yoga class before work. The changes you face might be major or minor, but you need to consider them before you settle into your new job. It will make your transition period infinitely easier.
Buy any needed clothing.Depending on your new position, you might need to make a few wardrobe adjustments. If you are moving up the corporate ladder, you could find yourself in need of true business attire rather than the business casual you are accustomed to wearing. If you are going to be meeting with clients or executives, you might need nicer clothing than you usually wear. Depending on how far you are moving, you might find you need new casual clothes instead of work clothing. Someone who is moving from New York to Florida, for instance, would not enjoy realizing that they do not own any sandals in July. On the flip side, someone moving from California to Minnesota needs to make sure they have a winter coat before Thanksgiving.
Make the most of your time between jobs.If you are lucky enough to have a bit of down time between your old job ending and your new job beginning, make the most of it. You are unlikely to have that sort of vacation again, so take advantage of it. Use the time to say farewell to friends if you are moving or to simply enjoy spending a little extra time with your family if you are staying in one place.
Getting a new job is almost always exciting, but there is work to do before you can fully transition into your new position. Make sure you tie up any loose ends at your old job before you leave and do your best to set things up in such a way to make your entry into your new job as smooth as possible. There will inevitably be monkey wrenches that get thrown in any plan you make, but it is much easier to modify an existing plan than it is to fly by the seat of your pants from start to finish.