One of the most exciting challenges in a professional’s career is starting a new legal job. However, this can also be a stressful and demanding time. Here are some tips on how to survive adjusting to a new legal job and, inevitably, a new boss.
The first few weeks of a new job are always difficult especially within the fast paced legal industry. Even seasoned lawyers agree that starting a new job is a tough task. To help you transition into a new organisation more smoothly, you must realise that the job will never be exactly as you expected. A new job means new relationships, new ways of doing things and new expectations. Ultimately you have to go into a new job with an open mind and the flexibility to change.
Forget your old boss
Not only has your workplace changed but so has your boss. In order to ensure that your new job starts well, it is important that you let go of your old boss. You may have worked fantastically together and loved the way he or she worked, but your new boss has new priorities, a new focus and almost certainly new ways of doing things. Being open to this — and accepting of it — will make both your lives a lot easier.
Know your new boss
It is important to figure out your boss’s communication style early. Find out how they like to work and how they like things done. For example, does the new boss like one-on-one meetings or team meetings? Are they interested in details or do they prefer an overview? Be proactive and initiate a meeting with your new boss to discuss how they like to work, and adapt accordingly.
Working under a new boss can be challenging. However, it is an experience that should be embraced. Learn everything you can from the experience and try to empathise with the boss’s situation — it can be just as challenging for them. This will ease the transition for you both. Remember, it’s up to the both of you to make the relationship work.
Immerse yourself in the company culture
At your old job working the exact hours of 9-5pm and taking a long lunch break may have been acceptable but don’t assume this is the case at your new employer. Spend the first few weeks in your new role learning at the company culture within the organisation. Are you expected to eat lunch at your desk? Does everyone go for a social drink on a Friday night? Until you have developed a thorough understanding of the culture at your new company will you be able to adjust fully.
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