Congratulations - you killed it at the interviews, negotiated your salary and benefits, signed your offer letter, and are about to start your new job! It’s an exciting time in your life, signifying new beginnings, new responsibilities, a new stream of income, and an opportunity to make your mark at an entirely new organization. But before you rush into your new job with excitement and enthusiasm, make sure you wrap up the loose ends of your search.
Here are some things to keep in mind as you start your new career:
Close the communication loop
Throughout your job search, you met a lot of people in your networking efforts, company outreach, and successful and unsuccessful interviews. Many of those people offered to be references for you, connected you with new opportunities, and told you to reach out to them if you need any advice or help. Email them to inform them of your job search success! Thank them for their ongoing support throughout the process, and give them a few compliments on how you grew as a professional and job seeker with their help.
Sharing your success with those who were instrumental to it is a great feeling for any successful job seeker. Beyond that, it’s also a great way to show your appreciation and continue to nurture your newly grown professional network. After all, the people you met in your job search might one day become your clients, or they might become job seekers themselves and call upon you for help.
Make the effort to close the communication loop around your job search and open a new communication channel with these people. Reach out regularly for quality conversation and offer help when they need it. This type of relationship allows you to give back while keeping up with contacts that can help you in the future.
Pay off your debts
The job search can result in a lot of debt. When you don’t have a steady source of income, you might end up putting a lot of your expenses on your credit card, or putting off monthly payments for things like college loans. As your new salary starts to fill up your debit account, make sure you catch up on all the debt you might have collected along your job search journey.
This is important for a few reasons. Getting rid of your debt early as you start your new job will allow you to get the stress of your finances out of the way quickly. Reducing your overall debt and catching up on long-term payments for loans or mortgages will allow you to better budget for necessary and personal expenses in the future. And if your credit score has taken a hit during your search, starting your regular debt repayment is a great way to get that number back in the 700s.
As you’re paying off your job search debt, you’ll have the opportunity to develop good financial habits that will help you in your future job hunting efforts. This can be anything from budgeting your expenses and keeping track of your receipts to creating an emergency savings fund for an unexpected job loss.
Take care of yourself
Another unfortunate part of unemployment is the loss of healthcare, dental, and vision benefits from your previous employer. During the job search, you may have forced yourself to forego regular checkups, avoided costly procedures, and ignored health issues for budgetary issues. Even with affordable healthcare options under the Affordable Care Act, the decision to spend on healthcare over food, shelter, or bills is a tough one to make.
Now that you’re starting your new job, you can enroll for the various forms of insurance your employer offers. Don’t delay in taking full advantage of them, even if you kept up with your health and didn’t have any issues during your job search. Go get your regular checkup, teeth cleaning, cancer screening, and other preventative procedures that you may have avoided during your job search. It’s crucial to do these types of procedures on a regular basis to avoid incurring severe health risks and financial stress in the future.
If you were sedentary during your job search, use your new salary to pay for a gym membership or some running shoes and start taking care of yourself again. If your budget forced you to make unhealthy eating choices, modify your diet with health-conscious, nutritious foods. If you forced yourself to forego your social life in favor of the job hunt, improve your mental health and satisfaction by getting back in touch with your friends and hitting the social scene.
Catching up on your health means you won’t have to worry about physical illness or mental exhaustion on the job. You can catch any potential issues early and get the treatment you need immediately. And you’ll be able to focus on things that will advance your career and personal life without the distraction of sickness or unhappiness.
Your new job is a new beginning not just for your career, but for all the things you put off during the job search, like eating healthy, staying fit, socializing, and managing your finances. Take the time to wrap up all the loose ends of your job search and put in place the processes and practices that will make your next hunt easier.