My current work involve changing direct superiors every 3 to 4 months for the past one year, and moving forward, I don’t see any changes in the cycle for another year or two. Transitioning to another superior is a stressful undertaking, because of the activities involved, and the importance of making things right; which is vital to your continued/future success within the organization.
I am almost certain that everyone would experience changing superiors at least once in their career, and depending on your previous relationship with your boss, it could be a painful exercise filled with doubts and fear for the future.
What are the immediate difficulties of having a new boss?
1. It takes time to build relationships and another boss would mean ground zero.
2. You fear your new boss wouldn’t be as great as your previous one.
3. You fear your new boss is worse than your previous one.
4. Worried that all your accomplishments would go to waste.
What to do for a successful transition to your new boss
1. Don’t be paranoid and stop worrying. Deal with the fact that a new boss is your key to success and whatever expectations you have because of your last superiors’ management style, should be left out the door, because it may be the same or exactly the opposite of your new superior. The first thing you do is calm down and think of starting fresh because it would be best to show your normal self rather than a too emotional and eager subordinate looking to impress your new boss.
2. Knowledge transfer activities should be conducted to get the new superior up to speed on things. I would like to think that only crappy superiors would not request or initiate knowledge transfer or team introductions, to get him within the system. Use this time to introduce yourself well and make a good first impression.
3. Set expectations meeting. If your new superior did not make efforts for expectations meetings, politely ask when he will conduct the activity or request for one if none is in his timeline. It’s best to set records straight on his management style and your role deliverables in the team.
4. Do not compare. The last thing you want is to irritate your new superior through comparisons with your previous boss.
5. Offer your help for small things like finding team directories, team portals, etc. You would want to be viewed as a pro-active worker, but don’t overdo it.
Look at transferring to a new superior as an opportunity to be welcomed rather than feared. You should be happy and inspired if you did great with your previous superior knowing that your experience could greatly help you in building a great and productive relationship with your new boss. On the other hand, if you had a bad time with your previous superior, be happy and try to make things work this time around.