Susan Barkman is the Management Analyst in the Mayor and City Council Office in Aurora, Colorado. Connect on Twitter or Linkedin.
Last week, I started a new job within my organization. Any time you transition to a new job there is a lot that happens both in terms of paperwork and in wrapping things up. For the second time I’m starting a new job between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Changing jobs during the holidays adds another layer of things to think about and do because each city and department may have different traditions and norms.
The first time I made this transition, I was leaving my accidental career in higher education and starting my local government career. My last day in higher ed was the day before Thanksgiving and I started the new job on the Monday after Thanksgiving. The second time, I am moved into a new role within the organization in mid-December. Even moving within my organization means working with new people and new dynamics and different traditions.
- For many of us this time of year often means spending time with your family. In the midst of wrapping up one job and moving to the next it can be easy to feel rushed, overwhelmed and so make sure you set aside that family time. It is also important to be realistic about your time, so maybe this is the year to bring a salad and not prepare a four course meal for 15 people. If you plan to travel make sure you communicate your plans with the appropriate employer, and you understand how things will impact your paychecks.
- Clarify your holiday days off. You might not get the same holidays especially if you are transitioning into a new field or working in one of our many 24/7 jobs. Make sure you know which days you have off during this time. Moving from higher ed into local government meant I no longer got the day after Christmas off.
- As you transition, don’t forget to say your goodbyes and hellos. Sometime people are out of the office before you leave and start so it is easy to miss someone. If you miss someone before your last day, leave a note or follow up with an email to end things on a good note.
- For the new job ask about holiday events or traditions for the office. Depending on when you start there might be an adopt a family, potluck, gingerbread house competition or some type of gift exchange you are in attending in the first few weeks. I have found these events, and a little friendly competition in the form of a decorating contest can be a great way to help break the ice, and build some team spirit.
- Be prepared to nail a potluck event! Especially if you work in a large department this might be the first time you meet people so leave a lasting (good) impression. Here is my super easy and delicious trifle recipe that always gets a lot of compliments.