Is the grass greener on the other side? Maybe.
If you’re thinking of making a change from your current work environment to a different one, learn as much as you can before you make the leap. Some transitions are easier to work through than others — whether it’s a change of industry, a change of culture or a change of scenery.
Here is some advice on how to manage a change in work environment and set yourself up for success in your new surroundings.
When moving from one field to another, maintain a degree of familiarity with the work you’ll be doing to help to manage the change. For example, the architecture and construction industries are closely related, so you would be able to draw on existing knowledge.
Another good rule is “ask, don’t assume.” You may assume that a manufacturing environment would be loud or dingy. But that’s often not the case, and it varies from site to site. Instead of assuming, it’s always good to just ask what it’s like.
Adapting to new cultures
The transition to a new work environment often involves more subtle changes. It’s rarely as obvious as the difference between working in a library versus a sawmill. Every workplace has its own culture; and it can show up in ways that make the work environment distinct. One way to get to know a new workplace culture is to reach out to coworkers for advice, they will be able to answer any questions you have and the bonds you for can help you be a more effective team.
Another common transition within a career track is moving from on-site to work-from-home. When working from home, communication is key. Always let your manager know when you’re logged in and when you aren’t. Also, keep an eye on the tendency to overwork late into the night because your new work environment is so easily accessible. It’s a good idea to set ‘office hours’ for yourself to avoid burnout.
What they all have in common
Not all work environment transitions are the same, but there are some common elements of successfully managing a transition.
Preparation and strong communication are both very important.
Always do your research prior to seeking a change, and maybe even see if you can do some cross-over work beforehand. Once you’ve made a switch, communicate that you want to keep learning and growing. That way employers will be more understanding.
Confidence is also key.
It’s really important to proceed with confidence. Being timid about trying new things or getting out of your comfort zone in a new position can — fairly or unfairly — send the wrong message about your work ethic. Remember that even if you’re learning, there’s always an opportunity to take more initiative.
If you’re considering a switch from a familiar work environment to one you’ve got less experience in, reach out. You can always talk with an Aerotek recruiter for expert advice that pertains to your particular situation.