The process of transitioning between jobs can be one of the most stressful changes a person can go through in their entire lives. Even when you’re moving on to bigger and better things, you’ve invested years of time building relationships with colleagues and clients who appreciate working with you.

An unexpected or dramatic mid-career change can become more manageable, however, when you prepare yourself properly by following a few easy guidelines. While there’s no way to guarantee that your new job will be everything that you dreamed when you signed up, these tips will help ensure that any transitional situation works out in the best way possible.

Stay Positive
It can be daunting to leave the security of a career that has treated you well, even if the rewards look greater down the road ahead. If your old office has implemented the latest products to improve office security then you’ll have to turn in your security ID card after your very last shift and this act alone can be emotional.

When you face long goodbyes and emotional situations like turning in your security credentials on your very last shift, it’s important to stay positive by focussing on the benefits that your job will afford you. Remember that although the transition may be difficult, the hard part is only temporary, and soon enough you’ll start to feel like a part of the new team. Keeping positive will also help you to perform better in your new role.

Build New Relationships

The quickest way to become comfortable in a new environment is to quickly build connections with your co-workers. While it can be sad to leave old friends behind, your new colleagues will soon become the people you think of and cooperate with on a day-to-day basis – so you might as well get to know them as soon as possible. After you make one solid connection, that person will serve as a catalyst to help you get oriented to your new surroundings and help you get to know the rest of the office personnel better.

Learn the Hierarchy

A big part of fitting into a new social atmosphere is to learn and respect the unspoken chain of command. One of the worst mistakes you can make among a new group of people is to step on someone’s toes or appear to be working against them, even if you do so inadvertently. By learning the hierarchies, both professional and social, you accustom yourself to your new environment in a way that will earn you the unconscious respect of everyone around you.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

If it feels like you’re asking too many questions, that’s probably troubling you more than anyone else. The last thing you want to do is prevent yourself from learning everything you can about your new role. One way to avoid becoming a nuisance is to make sure you don’t ask everything of one person all day long – you don’t want that one new friend you rely on to get sick of you already!

Moving to a new job can be difficult, but the difficulties of transitioning usually only last a short while. In the long run, there are so many benefits to a better gig that you’ll be thankful you faced the preliminary stumbling blocks with courage and a positive attitude. In the meantime, it doesn’t hurt to keep these guidelines in mind.