A few years ago I had a job change. My former career, the one for which I trained and had experience, was unexpectedly forced to change. I don’t regret it, but it was a paradigm shift for me. It has been an amazing opportunity to learn new things, to experience grace in new ways and in new locations.
It has also provided me the opportunity to work for new bosses. I have been blessed to work with some incredibly brilliant and gifted leaders.
In all of my work experience I have had the opportunity to observe transitions in leadership. We all do, or, if we are just beginning our career, we all will (unless we are fortunate to be our own bosses from the outset of work).
How we manage ourselves as we relate to a new boss can impact our success at our job. Some of us will handle transition from one boss to the next almost seamlessly, while others will struggle.
This article is intended to put forth a few ideas about how to handle the transitions we face when we have a new boss. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it is a start.
1. Admit that change is happening. If you have been at your job for a length of time and if you have a new boss put in place above you, the first place to start is to be aware that things are changing.
2. Be optimistic. Sure there are horror stories about a change in leadership, but many of those grow with the telling. Have an optimistic view point. Assume the best.
3. Put your best foot forward. Don’t try to con the new boss into believing you are something you aren’t. Do your job, do it well, and let the results speak for themselves.
4. Avoid negative coworkers. Is there someone in your office that has a constant rain cloud hanging over his or her head? Do your best to avoid them until you meet and know your new boss. Don’t let their negativity drag you down.
5. Learn what you can. In the connected age we live in, chances are pretty good your new boss has a digital history, especially if she is on LinkedIn. Do your homework. Read what you can about the new boss’s work experience, where he has lived or where they went to university.
6. Try to connect. The best work experiences are built on excellent relationships. Does your new boss have a particular hobby? Do they like to ride motorcycles? Do they run or bike? Do what you can to find areas of common experience.
7. Be honest about the outcomes. The truth is this might be the best boss you have ever worked for/with. But it could be a less than ideal situation. You won’t know until some time has past.
Again, I am not saying I have accomplished all of these things. I do believe they will help prepare you and your coworkers when there is a transition at the top (or at least above your pay grade).
What have you experienced with transitions at work? Have you had a great experience with a new boss? Have you had a bad one? Why not share your experiences below?