A 90-Day Honeymoon

By December 5, 2016Career, Leadership

Who takes a 90-day honeymoon? You do, or at least you should, when changing roles.

Allow yourself to acclimate to your new responsibilities and make observations about the team, work, and what needs to improve and change. At the 90-day mark, that’s generally when the going gets tough. Not only will you be expected to take things to the next level in your new job, but you’ll likely still be juggling some responsibilities from your previous role.

Days 1-90: Honeymoon phase. Observe. Take it all in. Expectations around your contributions are manageable, as you’re new and the organization is also becoming accustomed to you in this new role.

Days 91-180: Overwhelmed phase. Expectations are higher, demands are increasing, and the workload is heavy; at times, the shift to the new role may feel like a mistake or maybe like you weren’t ready or possibly not good enough. It’s important to distinguish the challenge presented from new responsibilities and expectations from a lack of ability or readiness on your part. Be patient about the time it will take for you to learn the ropes. Set expectations with your team and leadership. Communicate your priorities to provide visibility and help those around you to understand where you are in the transition process.

Days 181-365: Achievement phase. Transition from your previous role should be complete, allowing you to fully focus on the current role; you’ll have gained greater understanding and appreciation for your responsibilities and an increasing sense of accomplishment and achievement for the contributions you’re making. Continue communicating and setting expectations. Share and enlist others in your vision.

The key to a successful transition is to shift your previous responsibilities as soon as possible in order to focus on the new role. Manage against natural tendencies to hold on to what’s familiar (the old role) to free yourself to focus on what’s most important (the new role). Consider that a shift to new responsibilities and expectations will be unfamiliar yet not indicative of inability or lack of readiness on your part.


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