7 Tips For A Successful Job Change

Spring and summer is a common time to change jobs!

The holidays are over, bonus payouts have hit the account and it just feels like an excellent time to start something fresh, and it is.

Making the decision to embrace change was the hard part and now you’re on your way to new challenges and accomplishments. Maybe you’ve moved to a new city or maybe you started a new business or maybe you left a situation that just wasn’t right for you. Whatever the reason, you’ll have a lot on your mind as you transition to your new job, new role, new boss, etc.

As you do, 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. COBRA stands for Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. This option allows employees to continue their coverage after a “qualifying life event”, including resignation or termination from their job. COBRA will allow you and your qualified beneficiaries to continue to be covered by your employer’s group health insurance even after you have left. The time period that you can take advantage of this varies on your situation, so be sure to look into all the details.

It’s also important to 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 to the doctor.

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 good 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 good 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 may have the ability to select a higher salary multiple when you first enroll, so take advantage of that option if you need it. In addition to Life, Disability, Auto and Home, some employers may 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 an excellent time to spend some quality time with LinkedIn and other professional networking sites. 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 if you’ll be working with them again.

6) Your culture integration: One easy way to meet new co-workers and get to know folks is to simply ask, “What is your favorite ____________?”. It’s easy, 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 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 perfect 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 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.

Jason Haviland, CFA, CEBS, PMP is the President and Founder of J. Bradford Investment Management in Nashua, NH. For more information, please visit www.jbradfordinvestments.com/about








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