Moving to a new job can be a pretty daunting prospect, but it’s also an exciting one. There is a lot to think about when you take the plunge and try something new, and it is important to ensure you are ready and prepared. Coming up with ideas to help you navigate the tricky job market is essential for peace of mind, and for making sure you hit the ground running.

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If you harbor aspirations of jumping ship you’re not alone; a study from 2016 indicated that over 6 million people transferred to a different occupation. In fact, NBC News published a piece this year detailing that 64% of workers favor job-hopping, so you’re in good company.

But, it’s one thing wanting to do it versus actually taking the plunge, and this requires commitment, dedication, and above all, preparation. Check out these 5 essential ways you can (and should) prepare to move jobs.

1. Understand the Job

First of all, it is so important to make sure you actually understand the job you’re going to be doing. This means doing a little research into the company, and the role, and preparing yourself to be able to take on the job with confidence. Make sure you know the history of the company, what their ethics are, if they offer employee benefits such as pension enrolment services, and how they treat workers and clients.

This is important in your decision making, and you also have to understand your job role too. Understanding your role, and what is required of you, is so important for hitting the ground running and give it your best. If you are moving into entrepreneurship and working for yourself, this is even more essential. It’s a hugely competitive world out there, and you need the greatest chance of success.

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2. Be More Productive

Productivity is one of the most important words in the world of business. It is thought that around 70% of US workers are not engaged at work, and this is terrible for productivity. In South Africa, flexi-time is something that is available if you have family responsibilities, like if your child is sick. If you are running a business, you have to think about what you can do to enhance productivity – perhaps a focus on tech-enabled flexibility, such as working from home?

If you are an employee looking to boost productivity you need to consider how you can get in the zone. Some people find listening to music helpful, while others like to plan out their days. Try to limit checking your emails, and make sure you prioritize, as this will help you become more productive.

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3. Always be Professional and Respectful

When you are going into a new job you’re going to be interacting with a new workforce, and new colleagues. You’re going to need to settle in and become a part of the team, and this will take time. But, it does mean that you need to make sure you are as professional as possible and that you treat people with respect.

You want to give a good impression right from the start, and the best way of achieving this is to be respectful. This goes a long way, makes you a more essential member of the team, and means you are someone that people are happy to work with.

4. Expect Bad Days as Well as Good

The thing to remember is, just because you are moving jobs it doesn’t mean everything is going to be amazing all the time. You’re going to have bad days as well as good days, no matter how great your career might be. Damage control is an important part of working life, especially as an entrepreneur, and something you’re going to have to prepare for.

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This is important because it will give you a more realistic view of the working world, and will keep you more grounded and encourage perseverance when things get tough.

5. Stress Relief

You have to make sure you are in the best possible working mindset by the time you reach the office, and this means you need to make stress relief a priority. The less stressed you are, the less you will worry, and the more enjoyable your experience will be.

So, you can reduce stress by taking steps like practising your commute to work, improving your skills outside of the office, and asking your boss if you have any questions. This is really important for helping your transition and making everything run smoother.

Moving to a new job usually brings that mixture of excitement and trepidation, and this is perfectly normal. If you are going to have a successful career switch, you’re going to need to know what to expect.

This means taking the time to prepare and plan what your approach is going to be. These are 5 great ways to prepare; if you can think of any more, please don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments below!

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This is a guest post was written by Dan Greene.