Congrats! You have the job offer in hand and start in two weeks. You can put all that painful job-search strategizing behind you and start celebrating.
Or can you?
It’s not quite time to pop the champagne cork if you are smart about your career and want to protect your professional reputation. There are protocols and professional courtesies associated with moving into a new position, and actions you must take after you accept a job offer. Below are five things you need to do to move forward.
1. Talk to Your Boss.
If you currently have a job, the first person who needs to hear about your new job is your current boss. The grapevine works remarkably quickly when a vacancy or potential promotion is on the line, and the last thing you want to be is the subject of workplace gossip.
Make an appointment or ask for a quick word behind closed doors. Let your boss know the situation, your timeline, and discuss how they want to let your workplace know. Be proactive about the transition and you are well on the way to leaving on good terms.
2. Express Gratitude.
There is no faster way to burn bridges within your professional network than to neglect thanking the people who helped with your job search journey.
Don’t forget the contact that recommended you to your new employer, the connection who was trying to line you up for an interview with a completely unrelated company, and the person who played a pivotal role in getting you hired into the job you are now leaving.
Keep them in the picture, let them know you appreciate their support, and advise them you have accepted an offer. Your contact will feel used and unappreciated if you leave them out of the loop when they have advocated on your behalf.
3. Update Your LinkedIn Profile.
Guess who is viewing your profile on LinkedIn! Your new co-workers want an insight into your background and your old co-workers will be checking out what the better offer was. You don’t want to look like you are still a job seeker, or worse, that you are too lazy to bother updating where you work.
Ensure your headline doesn’t mention “seeking opportunities,” give your current job a closing date, and make sure your new job title is listed on day one, even if you leave updating the description until later.
4. Research Your New Workplace.
Remember the painstaking research you did into your new company and position before the interview? It’s time to do a bit more.
First impressions are incredibly important, and you will be at the end of a fire hose of names, positions and information during your first few days.
Give yourself a head start by ensuring you are up to date with any tools or technology that will be needed, and learn the names and titles of key co-workers through the company website or LinkedIn profiles.
5. Organize Your Personal Life.
Your current employer may have become more accommodating of your personal needs over time. Dental appointments, servicing your car, or the 3 p.m. early departure you negotiated so that you could get to a college class won’t make a great impression when you are new on the job.
Review your calendar and make sure that you coordinate alternate arrangements for anything that falls within work hours. Even if your new employer does offer that flexibility, you risk sending the wrong message to co-workers if you take time away from work in the early days.
Checklist complete? Start celebrating the new offer and, if possible, make sure you give yourself a few days between jobs to rest and rejuvenate. You’ll need that break to make sure you are ready to hit the ground running on day one.