Successful people build careers upon skills, abilities, and contacts they acquire from each job worked up the career ladder. Whether your job change has been long-planned, the result of a sudden break or that dreaded "tap on the shoulder," organization goes a long way toward making the job change as successful as possible. As an administrator of human resources, I have seen first hand how PLANNED CHANGE provides a decided edge for anyone contemplating leaving long-term employment with the same organization.
PROTECTING YOUR RESOURCES
You've no doubt accumulated piles of reference materials, a healthy personnel file, and any number of daily personal contacts, both inside and outside the organization. Take stock of the resources you have at your disposal -- impressive, isn't it? Now, imagine if every name in your Rolodex; every file, every article or template or design saved; every project award; every document or spreadsheet in your computer were suddenly and forever BLOCKED from your access. Pretty scary, huh? Long-term employees often feel safe within the family of their organizations, as if you'll always be a part of the group, as if you'll always have access. These same people are often surprised by the FINALITY of leaving a job, and how much information that means giving up. Every job has critical items that you cannot afford to leave behind. When you leave a job, be as prepared as if that organization closed it doors forever with no forwarding address.
BUILD A THOROUGH FILE OR BINDER AT HOME
Whether you are looking for a job or not, you need to create a permanent record of the many aspects of your work. Critical items include:
You can take some steps, even when you aren't actively preparing to leave a job, to make sure your interests are protected. Routinely remove personal items, correspondence, etc. from your worksite and take it home where it is safe. Also, routinely REVIEW your personnel file so you know what is in there -- and if you may need to correct or contest its contents. Make copies for your records. Regulations regarding ACCESS to personnel files differ by employer and state so it is important to know if access is permitted prior to deciding to leave the organization.
GET READY TO JUMP
What about someone who is ready to spring at that once-in-a-decade job opportunity and doesn't have time to start at square one? Make time! This is your life, your career move. Cut out a few hours sleep or a chunk of the weekend, but perform a critical REVIEW of your work space. Assemble and duplicate as many of the above items as possible. Remember, that door may be locked tight if you try to return for that template or Rolodex later.
WHEN YOU ARE BLIND-SIDED
Then there are the totally unexpected job changes. INVOLUNTARY separations of employment are especially challenging situations for all concerned. I assure you, it is not a time of coherent thought or organization. This is another good reason for careful planning and organizing your work life on a continuing basis. I suggest that anyone caught unawares should immediately request an AFTER-HOURS clean out of their personal items. Many employers willingly allow a supervisor to accompany employees back at a quiet time when other workers are gone. Work quickly and efficiently -- don't waste time on small talk with the supervisor. In the worse case scenario, someone else will be ordered to clean out your space for you. Jot down your critical list, selecting items as if your life depended on it. Your success in getting another quality job may depend on the materials you bring from the old job.
However you leave you present job, strategic planning and ORGANIZATION will help anyone be better prepared and more successful when making that job change.
Patricia Diorio is the owner / operator of Clutter-free Organizing Solutions. Patricia is a certified Professional in Human Resources management with over fifteen years experience in personnel management and administration prior to owning her own business.
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