7 Steps to Prepare Yourself for New Administration

Nancy Segal is now the weekly career columnist for FEDWeek. This article was originally posted in the FEDWeek Career Forum.

January always brings new beginnings—a new year, resolutions, and promises to ourselves and others. This January brings a Presidential transition; if nothing else, 2017 promises change for the federal employee. There will be new agency heads, new policies, and new thinking.

Whether you are red, blue, or purple, it is up to all of us to help make the transition to a new Administration as seamless as possible. Here are 7 things you can do right now:

  • Resolve to be positive and professional. Regardless of your personal views, as federal employees, most of us are part of the executive branch. We have an obligation to provide exceptional and nonpartisan service to our customers—and that includes our bosses.
  • Be open to change. Just because “we’ve always done it that way” doesn’t make it the right—or even the only—way. If you spend a lot of time fighting change, you’ll get personally frustrated and potentially labeled as a troublemaker. Be open to new ways of doing things.
  • Participate in the transition if possible. If you are asked to help with transition-related activities, do so. Even better, volunteer. Show up for “meet-and-greets.” You never get a second chance to make a good first impression with your new bosses.
  • Have your resume up-to-date and ready. If someone from the new Administration wants your resume, have it ready to share. Make sure your resume is full of accomplishments and error-free. You want to show your best self.
  • Know who the new players are. Pay attention to announcements so you know who is coming to your agency. Look them up on LinkedIn and elsewhere. That way, you’ll know a little bit about them and their interests—you might even recognize them when they walk down the hall! And if you have the opportunity, congratulate them on their new position.
  • Be patient. The transition to the new Administration will take time. There are almost 700 positions which require Senate confirmation; as of the writing of this article, less than 25 nominees have been announced. And confirmation cannot start until Congress is back in session. In addition to the Senate-confirmed positions, there are another 3,000+ political appointments that do not require confirmation. So, just knowing the numbers, you can see that the transition (like all Administration transitions), may take months.
  • Keep an open mind. While we may think we know what changes are in store, the truth is that we don’t. So, stop speculating and keep an open mind about the actual changes you see.

Following the above tips will help make the transition easier for you, your bosses, and your agency.

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