3 tips for navigating your next internal transition

Cheerful middle manager

The COVID19 pandemic will have impacted all of us in our working lives, be it through a transition to virtual work, shifting priorities, or being on furlough. Now, as lockdown starts to lift and life slowly begins again, some of us will be working in new teams or taking on new roles as a consequence of organisations changing during the pandemic. However, in order to maintain balance, motivation and confidence in our working lives, we have to be able to navigate these internal transitions with confidence. So, we share 3 tips to help you and your colleagues cope with change in the coming weeks.

1. Understand there will be ambiguity

Unfortunately, there is very little you can actually do to get around this one. When taking on a new role for example, you can have as many meetings, conversations and coffees as you like, but ultimately there will be elements to the role that you just won’t know right away. But that’s OK. Focus on what you do know and be proactive in the areas that you don’t. An effective way to deal with this ambiguity is to remind yourself of the bigger picture or wider vision. Rationalise the reasons behind the move, how this can benefit you and make sure it is aligned with your goals. This last point applies particularly to those on furlough right now!

Mo Gawdat, former Chief Business Officer at Google X and author of the book ‘Solve for Happy’, says that he congratulates people when they tell him of changes in their lives – even when that change is a breakup or losing a job! His logic is that in every transition we go through, we are taking one step closer in the right direction for us. So, when trying to cope with the ambiguity of your internal transition, remember that it could be an opportunity to start a new chapter.

2. Manage the balance

This is never easy, not matter how many transitions you go through. For example, when transitioning to a new role, the balance is between the team you have left behind and the team you are joining. It is important to accept the transition between the two may come with some personality challenges and culture changes but focusing on your current role and what it means to you, will make the move a little easier. Bringing your fresh initiative to team meetings, or the “outsiders’ perspective” helps you feel more engaged in the team, sharing your feedback throughout the day and aiming to do the best in your current role are all elements which will support the transition into a new team. Honing in on your current role, rather than reminiscing on what you have left behind, can make all the difference. Remember: the key to navigating transitions is accepting that they take time.

3. Keep conversations going

This is linked to managing the balance, but it’s specifically about communication. Internal transitions can often be a difficult time for both yourself and the team that you’re leaving. Be empathetic towards that and encourage a more unstructured approach to communication between colleagues. It really helps to remove the sense of being “cut off” from your previous team. Communication channels are very important within the workplace, even more so when experiencing a transition as they help you to talk through the transition with others and ensure you are confident in the changes you’re facing. For those on furlough, maintaining communication with teams on the pitch is essential to maintaining a sense of connection and engagement with your organisation.


These tips are in no sense a ‘how to have a successful transition’, but they might make the process a little less challenging. If you want to access more of our top tips, advice and skill development for COVID19, click here.