By Edwin B.
Mayes, Assistant Dean of Students, Wittenberg University
you are a graduating student who will soon be starting a new career, or
a staff member who is about to transition to a new employment role this
summer, you may be managing an employment transition in the near future.
these transitions may be difficult, they can be managed in a way to maximize
the following as you transition to your next employment situation
As a new
employee or staff member, you must gather large amounts of information
in a rather short time, not only by reading materials related to your
new position, but also by paying close attention to the employment culture
as it relates to your position. Your first six months to a year is a great
time to build relationships and ask questions to get clarification so
you can better understand working relationships and expectations. Talk
with individuals that have been at the organization for some time and
listen very carefully to what they have to say. Consider asking your new
colleagues to lunch to ask them about what they do and how their position
in the organization relates to yours. You will find that most people have
pride in what they do and would be happy to tell you about their positions.
Other important information is covered in new employee orientation programs,
but most of the information that you will need to peacefully co-exist
will likely come from your own initiative. Talk with individuals that
have been at the organization for some time and listen very carefully
to what they have to say. You can also find additional information from
organizational charts, employee manuals, and the files that have hopefully
been left behind by your predecessor. After studying the organizational
chart and talking with key players you will learn who the key people are
who can provide you with valuable information about the functioning of
the organization. In a new position it is important that you spend the
first six months listening as much as you can to learn the organizational
politics and expectations in addition to the expectations of your supervisor.
appropriate relationships with others will be key to your success, and
your position as a Resident Assistant has clearly prepared you well for
this task. In addition to building new relationships, do not forget to
rely on your past relationships and support systems, old supervisors and
mentors. For your own emotional wellness you must have outlets that provide
peace in your life and people who understand your position and what you
may be going through. New colleagues can help you navigate through your
new position, and past colleagues can be an excellent sounding board for
the new experiences you will encounter as you make your employment transition.
As you make
your next employment transition, work to understand and incorporate the
following ideas into a successful transition plan:
About the Author
Edwin B. Mayes is the Assistant Dean of Students at Wittenberg University. He is also in his second year of doctoral study in the Executive Higher Education program at Ohio University. Edwin is in his 12th year in Higher Education and has a Bachelor in Business and a Masters of Arts in Higher Education from Wright State University. He is active in GLACUHO and with the Small College Committee for ACUHO-I. Edwin has experience working at Earlham College, University of Colorado-Boulder, Wright State University, and University of Michigan.