Congratulations! You’ve taken the plunge! You’ve changed jobs, maybe changed careers, maybe moved to a new city and maybe even started a new business. Making the decision to embrace change was the hard part and now you’re on your way!
You’ll have a lot on your mind and as you transition to your new job, new role, new boss, etc. you may wonder if you missed anything or where you should focus amongst all those things that are changing. That’s a very natural feeling, so as you get up and running in your new job, here are 7 tips for a successful transition into your new role.
1) Your medical, dental and other benefit coverages: You were very likely receiving your benefits from your old employer and will also likely receive benefits from your new employer. It is important to double check the coverage end date of your existing coverage and the start date of your new coverage to avoid an unplanned gap. Coverage usually ends at the end of the month in which you leave. If you take time off in between jobs, you may have a coverage gap and you may want to elect COBRA to continue coverage before your new coverage starts. Also remember that sorting out billing issues with carriers and insurance companies is a real pain. Call your medical and dental provider with the new information as soon as you get it and then confirm they have the correct info on your first visit.
2) Your new fringe benefits and training opportunities: You very likely discussed the big stuff like salary, bonus and time off when you accepted the offer from your new employer, but many companies don’t always do a good job of laying out all of the benefits they offer. There is usually a section of the corporate website that has the full list. Check it out and you’ll likely find some surprising and valuable benefits. Be sure to check out the available training as well. Your new employer may have webinars or other classes that are better or different than the ones at your last employer.
3) Your emergency fund: A job transition, planned or unplanned, is a situation in which many people will often draw upon their savings to bridge the gap between paychecks. You may have used some or all of your emergency fund in the transition, or maybe you decided to take some time off in between jobs. How did it go? This is a great time to ensure that you’ve built (or rebuild if needed) a sufficient cash cushion. We typically recommend 3-6 months of living expenses, but it can be more or less depending on your risk tolerance. This is also a great time to review and revisit critical documents and ensure that you’ve got an updated will and health care proxy.
4) Your life insurance situation: When you enroll in benefits at your new company, you’ll have a lot to digest. Many employers provide tools, calculators and HR support to help you enroll and make decisions on the best options for you and your family. This is a great time to revisit your life insurance needs and take advantage of group rates with your new employer. You’ll likely have the ability to select a higher salary multiple when you first enroll, so take advantage of that option of you need it. In addition to Life, Disability, Auto and Home, many employers also offer very reasonable umbrella policies that provide liability coverage up to $1,000,000.
5) Your social media and LinkedIn profile. A job transition is a great time to spend some quality time with LinkedIn and other professional networking sites. Maybe even check out a new one like www.branded.me Give your profile a makeover. You should update your experience and skills and consider a new headshot, and be especially sure that you’ve updated your e-mail address. Invite new colleagues to connect as you meet and interact with them. Also be sure to stay in contact with your old colleagues as well. An occasional and simple hello is all it takes, as you never know when and how you’ll be working with them again.
6) Your culture integration. One easy way to meet new co-workers and deal with getting to know folks is to simply ask, “What is your favorite ____________” It’s easy and you’ll probably get some useful information and you’ll quickly find some coworkers with similar interests. Your new office environment will likely be a big change too and you may find yourself working in one corner or floor of your building every day. Take the time to explore your entire building and if you have a campus area, be sure to explore that too. You may find some hidden gems, everything from walking trails to a fitness course.
7) Your retirement and financial accounts. Because of the many options available to you during a job transition, this is a great time to evaluate what you should do with all of your various IRA, 401(k) and other stock accounts from prior jobs. If your fees are low and investment options are diverse, it may make sense to just keep everything where it is. However, it may also be more convenient, and you may get better service and access to other services, if you consolidate. If you do consolidate retirement accounts, direct rollovers will help you avoid any tax penalties. Also, in your new job, you should also make sure you contribute to maximize your employer’s match. For all investment and retirement matters, be wary of commissions and products with high fees.
Strongly consider working with an investment fiduciary, such as J. Bradford Investment Management, who is bound to work in your best interest. We would be happy to work with you on any of the matters mentioned in this blog post.
- Investing and investment management involves risk, including the loss of your initial investment or any investment gains.
- Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
- This generic information is provided for educational purposes only and should not be construed as a recommendation for any individual to take a specific action.
- Please invest prudently and seek professional help from a financial advisor, investment manager, accountant, lawyer or other professional on matters that you are unsure of or that are unique to your personal circumstances.
- Financial Advisor and Investment Management Services provided by J. Bradford Investment Management, Nashua NH.