3 Tips for Transitioning Into a New Role Remotely
by Jenna Bloomfield, Solutions Advisor
As I write this article, I’m going through a big transition. I’m moving out of my former role as a Solutions Advisor for Boomer Consulting, Inc. and into a new Financial Operations position in the company. It’s a transition I’m really excited about. As a former small business owner, I really enjoy the administrative side of running a business, both internally and externally.
Boomer Consulting has been a fully remote team for a while now. We’re all acclimated to working from home, passing of job responsibilities and training new team members remotely. But the experience made me think about how other firms with new team members working from home might be handling the same types of transitions.
When you work in the same physical space as your predecessor, new supervisor or direct reports, passing off work and training on new job responsibilities can be a little more casual. However, it takes a bit more effort and intention when you can’t simply spend the day shadowing someone or get everyone together in a conference room for training.
So I thought I’d share how our team is handling the transition.
Structure the transition in phases
The person who was in my new position previously here at Boomer Consulting left several months ago. Since that time, the responsibilities have been handled by a few different people. That makes training for this role unique because there isn’t one person passing on all of the necessary institutional knowledge.
To make the process more manageable, we’ve structured the transition into three different phases.
Phase 1 is high priority tasks – those tasks and duties that need to be done and are crucial for keeping the company running smoothly
Phase 2 is for important functions that aren’t as time-sensitive
Phase 3 is for long-term projects – they can take a back seat for now while I get a handle on the other facets of my new job
Allocating tasks into these three buckets is helping make the switch more manageable. As new tasks pop up, I can simply add them to the list based on urgency and priority.
If you’re in the process of transitioning into a new role, take some time to have conversations about your position. Make sure you’re clear on your new department’s goals, objectives, and top priorities. With your manager’s help, get clear about what you need to accomplish in your first 90-days in the new role, and what is not as time-sensitive. This will help you avoid distractions or focusing too much on things that aren’t actually important.
Coordinate timing of process improvements
At the same time as I’m entering this new role, we’re going through a Lean process improvement project for our internal billing process. While having two major moves happening at the same time might seem daunting, we’ve actually timed it that way on purpose.
As anyone who’s undertaken a process improvement initiative knows, it can be difficult to do when people are attached to the existing processes. Since I’m not married to the current processes, we knew it would be an excellent time to consider how we can do things better.
Even if your firm isn’t in the midst of a major process improvement initiative, it never hurts to look for opportunities for continuous improvement during a role change.
Prioritize internal communications
Every member of our team has a lot of experience using Zoom – we use it every day for meetings with clients and each other. In-person communication is always crucial, especially when making a career move, so we’ve been using video conferencing to discuss processes and hand off work.
As I’m getting familiar with my new role, we’re also making plans to train my replacement. Our Solutions Manager, Deanna Perkins, will be handling most of the training, but I will meet with our new team member to transition ongoing projects. Even though we won’t be able to meet in person for a while, video conferencing will allow us to get to know each other, share information, and establish a solid and productive working relationship. By the time we meet in person – hopefully at the Boomer Technology Circles Summit in August – we’ll already feel like we know each other.
To ensure that hand-off goes smoothly, I came up with a list of projects currently in the works, and I’m updating that list weekly to ensure our Solutions team is kept in the loop. Once our new Solutions Advisor has been onboarded and is ready to get to work, we’ll start handing off tasks and projects based on their level of importance and timeliness.
Making a big career jump can be a bit scary – even in the best of times. But you don’t have to put your career path trajectory on hold just because you’re not physically working in the same space as the rest of your team. Using these three steps as a guideline can help you grow and succeed in your new role!
As a Solutions Advisor for Boomer Consulting, Inc., Jenna is passionate about strengthening client relationships. Her primary focus is on consulting services, including the Business Transformation Playbook, Strategic Planning, the Envision Process, Client Advisory Services, Lean Six Sigma for CPA Firms and Technology Consulting. Before joining Boomer Consulting, Inc., Jenna owned a home health agency for three and a half years