Planning your next career move? Your transition plan is just as important!

The first few months in a new leadership role are usually an exciting and challenging time. The hard work of networking, research, applications, and interviewing has finally paid off.  You got the job!  Congratulations, but now is no time to relax.

Did you know the first 100 days in a new job establish your foundation as a new leader?   Many new leaders arrive on Day One “ready to go” but without a plan.  Rather than “hitting the ground running,” early messages are off target, relationships are slow to form, and results are unpredictable. In today’s business world there is no such thing as a “honeymoon period.” All eyes are on the new leader to produce results quickly and efficiently.

The key is to develop your transition game plan long before your start the job. Clarify expectations, uncover landmines and avoid missteps that can negatively impact first impressions and your long term success.  There are plenty of resources and tools to help with this. One book I found particularly useful is The New Leader’s 100 Day Action Plan by George Bradt, Jayme Check, and John Lawler.  In it, the authors present a compelling case for flushing out your onboarding plan even before you have accepted the job.  Four main concepts for a successful transition and increased chances of long term success are succinctly detailed: Getting a head start by assessing risks, identifying landmines, jump-starting relationships; Managing the message by creating a strong first impression, opening message and ongoing communication; Setting direction and building your team by co-establishing 30-45-70 day objectives; Sustaining momentum and delivering results by continuing to evolve your leadership and practices. With background information, examples, diagrams and tools this book offers ways to assess your new situation and begin develop an on-boarding plan that gives you more control from Day One.

Just as you diligently prepared for your job interviews, advance planning of your first days and months on the new job should be an integral part of your next career move.


Blog post by WHCM Steering Committee Member MaryGaye Grizwin