I joined the AHPR team last September at the beginning of my junior year and became an account executive for HIV Alliance, an Oregon-based nonprofit organization that provides support, prevention and education services for people affected by HIV/AIDS.
The current HIV Alliance account supervisor, Jen Eisenmann, graduates this term and I am honored to replace her. Here are some tips for anyone transitioning to a new role, like I am:
1. Understand your role. Before anything else, address expectations. What does your client expect from you? What do your coworkers and boss expect from you? What do you expect from yourself? With clear expectations of your role, you can prevent misunderstandings with your team or client and measure your success more easily. Also, to hold yourself and your team accountable, make sure to establish a communication chain and have a set schedule for team meetings.
2. Ask questions. Your transition period may be the last time you would have your predecessor available, so ask open-ended questions. The person who has done the job before you will have vital knowledge about the position, including the big picture as well as small details, and that experience will help you tremendously. During my transition, I shadowed Jen by attending weekly meetings with our client, management team and faculty adviser to better understand the position. I made sure to ask questions such as: “How often do you talk to the client?” “How do you communicate with the AHPR team?” and “What challenges have you faced and how did you overcome them?”
3. Set goals. A new job can be intimidating at first. Ask yourself: What do you want to accomplish in this role? Set professional and personal goals that allow you to meet expectations.
4. Learn new skills. Most likely, you don’t have all the skills necessary yet to succeed in your new position. Make a list of what you need to learn and steps to reach proficiency. Ask those who are experienced what skills they found important.
5. Stay humble. A promotion is exciting! However, don’t let it go to your head—nobody likes people who think they know everything. Celebrate with those closest to you and then continue to work hard in your new role.
When you earn a promotion, remember that it’s a time to be proud of yourself. I hope these tips make your future transition easier. If you have any additional tips for someone transitioning into a new role, please share in the comments section!
Hallie White is a junior at the University of Oregon majoring in Public Relations with minors in Business Administration and French. She hopes to move to New York or San Francisco after college and pursue her interest in corporate, tech, or consumer PR. In her spare time she is most likely rewatching episodes of House of Cards or on Pinterest. Follow her on Twitter here.