Succeeding in a new job

N°153b – Synth├Ęse (8 p.) – Job Transition
Succeeding in a new job
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Taking on new responsibilities is a stimulating challenge, but full of potential traps! How to maximize your chances of making this critical transition successfully?

Taking on a new position is one of the most educational experiences in a person’s career. There is nothing like it to help a manager learn to handle new responsibilities, expand his or her skills and discover new perspectives.

However, the number of failures is truly spectacular, as various studies have shown that between one-third and one-half of executives find themselves in trouble within eighteen months after they take on a new job. The reason for their failure is not that they are incompetent or the recruiter was mistaken; most of these managers objectively have the potential to handle the job with which they are entrusted. Yet, the transition phase is particularly perilous, due to a natural gap between previously acquired reflexes and the context of the new position, as well as the difficulty of learning fast enough how to respond to the new challenges encountered. Many newcomers consequently commit serious gaffes during their first few weeks on the job, and these mistakes have lasting consequences.

The publications that we have analyzed underline the importance of the first few weeks following the transition to a new job, and emphasize the following principles in particular:

– Start by “unlearning” everything you think you know; in a new context, you should challenge your assumptions.

– Make an even bigger effort to grasp the human side of your job than you do to understand the technical dimension.

– Don’t wait to act – the foundations of your future success are established in the first few months.

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