GNcareers, from Gulf News

Starting with a clean slate helps

Starting a new job is an exciting prospect. Despite this, many may find it difficult to move on from their previous jobs. They remain concerned about how the job is being done and what is going on with the employer.

They may even continue to seek information about the past employer’s plans and get involved with former co-workers in discussions. Although some of this behavior may be normal, being overly immersed in a job - and a workplace - that you no longer have connections with is unhealthy and unproductive.

For one thing, you don’t have control over any of these issues. In addition, whatever you say could be taken the wrong way and lead to burning bridges with the employer from whom you will probably need references for years to come. With that in mind, it is important to rethink how you will physically - and emotionally - transition yourself after taking on a new job.

• New beginning

Taking a new job isn’t an easy endeavor. There are typically many changes in terms of schedule, work procedures and, sometimes, the work itself. This requires full attention during work hours, and could even mean a lot of focus in your off-hours too.

To make this new beginning successful, keep looking forward and try to learn more about the job, the new corporate culture and new co-workers.

All of this can be achieved more easily if you take a break from the previous job’s connections and issues. Limit phone calls that discuss work issues and office politics. Although it may not be a good idea to lose valuable friendships formed during the previous job, try to keep these on a more personal level.

As you get more involved with the new job, you probably will find it easier to lose interest in the events and stories related to the past.

• No comments

In many offices, once you leave, you become a potential source on office politics. Many parties may be approaching you to get insider information that helps them with their office issues. Getting involved in such conversations can be unprofessional.

First, people who are looking for such information may be involved in major problems that you don’t need anything to do with, even if you’re outside the company. Second, since you no longer work there, there may be an impression that you won’t be hurt if your name comes up in any argument. That is not true.

Former coworkers and supervisors probably won’t appreciate that you’re divulging confidential – or semi-confidential – information. This will come back to haunt you when you need a reference, or generally in terms of your reputation in the industry.

Unless you passionately feel about a particular issue, don’t comment in any way that reveals information that you had access to during employment. If you do have a strong connection with previous coworkers, your relationship should evolve to a true connection that is based on mutual life interests rather than work matters.

• Limit your exposure

Now that you have got a new job, it may be a good idea to look for new networking opportunities. That will help in your new position and will give you some distance from the previous environment. Learn how to avoid the past job’s issues and details.

It may be hard at the beginning to abandon what you cared about for years, but it is fair to do so to be able to focus on your duties.

This becomes particularly difficult if you are moving up in the same company or to a supervisory position where you still deal within the same circle and the same work. Seeing someone else doing your past job – in a different way - will need a mature attitude and ample understanding and respect to this person’s abilities and approach.

— The writer, a former Gulf News Business Features Editor, is a Seattle-based editor.

Starting anew

Get a distance from your past job.

Limit talks about office politics.

Develop the personal side of your connections.

Have respect for how your past job is handled now.

— R.O.



Source: Rania Oteify, Special to Gulf News