Congratulations on landing that payroll job or accounting role you’ve been after. First, pat yourself on the back for a job well done, and uncork the champagne. But after that, it’s not just a matter of waiting for your start date. Here are seven steps you should take after accepting a job offer and before you start your first day at your new job.
1. Get written confirmation
After you accept the offer by phone, it’s standard practice for employers to follow up with a formal written agreement. It should include your job description, starting salary, list of benefits, terms of employment and official start date. Wait until you have this letter or email in hand before taking any next steps. Until you receive that document, you don’t have a concrete job offer.
2. Notify your boss
If you’re employed, you’ll need to formally quit your current job. It’s good form to tell your manager in person and agree on a termination date — usually two weeks from the day you announce your resignation. Then submit a formal resignation letter, making sure to give one copy to your boss and another to the appropriate person in the human resources department.
Note: Management dislikes disruptions in workflow and having to restart the hiring process, so you may get you a counteroffer of a higher salary or sweeter perks. Resist the temptation to accept. Remember all the reasons you looked for a new job in the first place. Besides, it’s highly unprofessional to back out after accepting a job offer.
3. Cultivate your network
You’re headed for new pastures, but keep nurturing the relationships you’ve built over the years. Your soon-to-be former boss and coworkers are an important part of your professional network. Even if you’ve had to manage conflict with them in the past, your last two weeks on the job are the time to put all that aside. Add them as LinkedIn connections. Get their personal email addresses. Go out to lunch one last time. Who knows? You may one day find yourself becoming a boomerang employee, going back to your old employer.
4. Facilitate handovers
It’s basic professional courtesy to help out during the transition period, either by training your replacement or writing detailed instructions for a future new hire. Leave your electronic and paper files in good order. Now is also a good time to give your desk a thorough decluttering and cleaning, making sure you don't leave behind an article of clothing or anything personal..
5. Stay in touch with your new manager
Your formal acceptance letter should not be the last time your soon-to-be boss hears from you before your first day on the job. They should be reaching out to you about paperwork or other details. If there’s silence, don’t be shy about making the first step.
6. Read up on your new employer
You most likely researched the company and others you applied to, before writing your cover letters and interviewing. This two-week period is not the time to stop. If you haven’t done so already, create a Google News Alert for the employer, and follow the company on social media. Subscribe to its blog to keep up with news articles and press releases. If the company website has staff photos and biographies, start memorizing faces and names.
7. Get a head start on the job
Even if you’re just making a lateral move, no two positions are the same. You may have to supervise staff, learn new business software or become familiar with another state’s tax codes. Your first few weeks will be easier if you take the time now to watch a webinar, sample an online tutorial or read a book on effective leadership.
There’s much to do after accepting a job offer, so don’t rest on your laurels and coast during your final two weeks at your old workplace. Make the most of this time to create a smooth transition and prepare for the next exciting chapter of your payroll career.
Be sure to read this post: Starting a New Job? Here’s the Best and Worst Career Advice.