You are in the middle of switching job assignments. Hopefully you’re working through us to get that done for you. We also hope that both the job you finished and the job you’re starting are great fits for your lifestyle and for your career growth! When switching jobs, whether it’s moving from temp-to-temp, or perm-to-perm, there are multiple things to consider that will make your transition as smooth as possible for both you and your employer (and possibly us too!). Here are 6 things to think about when switching assignments.
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New vs. Old Company Policies
If you’re a flexible person and don’t mind hopping from industry to industry, you’re probably going to be less interested in this point. However, it’s still worth mentioning.
Switching jobs, especially if your last gig lasted for several months, can be quite an adjustment. It is all the more difficult to transition if your previous job and the new job aren’t quite the same; in fact, it may be too much if the two jobs are drastically different.
Humans are creatures of habit, and old habits die hard. So, if your assignment lasted anywhere from 3 weeks to several months, you’ve probably grown accustomed to your old job’s ins and outs, routines, regulations, rules, and ways of doing work. However, one company’s policies for things such as safety, work procedures, and workplace behavior may be night-and-day compared to another. You might be moving from a job with tight safety guidelines and rules to a company with very lax guidelines and rules. You might have worked at a company who runs their business like a baseball game (3 strikes and you’re out), and your new company might take things much more seriously.
It is extremely important to be aware of this change, even if you have safe work behaviors and processes across the board.
New vs. Old Work Environments
Going from a warehouse job to construction would be a really big adjustment. While one environment is mostly inside, the other is mostly outside.
This is just a specific example, but you should keep in mind where your new job will be located and what you will be doing there. Preparation is key, specifically if you are making a huge shift in environments. You might need an upgrade in boots or an extra rain-proof jacket.
In another extreme case, you could be moving from an outside work environment to a desk or an office job. Be aware that you will probably be sitting down for most of the time, and you should schedule frequent trips just to walk around and shake the sleepiness from your legs.
New vs. Old Co-Workers
There is a giant change in how your co-workers will behave in the workplace if your job assignments are in two separate worlds. In one environment, your co-workers might be as polite as any other person; in the next, they could swear up a storm and get physical. It’s all about where you’re working and what you’ll be doing.
Even if you’re switching departments or sections of your building, workplace attitudes change dramatically. There is a huge difference between the attitudes expressed by service advisors in a car dealership as compared to service mechanics in the shop. A forklift operator might have a completely different attitude than someone working in the accounting office for the same warehouse.
Don’t assume that everyone acts the same, because you may end up saying or doing something that would offend someone or get you in trouble right off the bat. Play it nice and safe at first, and once you’re comfortable with everyone and how everything works, you can make it your own fairly easily.
New vs. Old Bosses
Along the same lines as #3, bosses differ widely between jobs, perhaps even more than co-workers. In one job, you might have a boss that’s fine with you taking 5-minute smoke breaks every once in a while; but in another, your boss confronts you about it and asks you only to take breaks during designated times. Other bosses may not allow smoke breaks at all.
With superiors, there are varying degrees of strictness. You will most-likely encounter all ranges of strictness throughout your lifetime, but it’s important to always know what is and isn’t acceptable to your new boss. Even if rules forbid certain things, like smoking on the clock, your boss might be okay with it; or, if certain rules technically allow for it, your boss might strictly forbid it. Good superiors will usually ‘lay down the law’ of the company within the first day or two on the job, and if you do something wrong, they’ll correct you without any harm done. This isn’t always the case, but any good boss operates within this general workplace environment.
New vs. Old Machines
If you work at certain job assignments for a really long time, you’ll know the machines you work with like the back of your hand. Once you switch jobs to a whole new company with all-new machines, however, you might find yourself struggling to cope with the changes in how things are done with the new equipment.
If you are someone who is relatively resistant to change, you might find it difficult adjusting. Doing things “the old way” will probably land you in quite a lot of trouble. Even if the machines are exactly the same model, year, etc., your approach should always be fresh and ready to learn new things. Companies might want things done in different ways, and if you don’t change the way you work to fit that method, you will underperform based on company standards.
This goes for computer software. If you are in the same position, with the same software, but with a different company, just follow your new training, however light or boring it may be. You will pick it up really quickly, but companies really do operate differently, and knowing those differences will set you apart from the rest.
New vs. Old Facilities
This one everybody knows about. If you’re switching job assignments and you have to go to a brand-new facility, chances are you’re not going to know anything about the place.
From one small warehouse to a gigantic facility, it might be a hard adjustment to have to walk three times as far just to get to your work station. Within the first couple of days, start memorizing the most popular routes that you’ll need to take on a regular basis, keeping watch for any additional trails in case circumstances change.