Whether you just landed the job offer you wanted or you’re still looking, now is a great time to begin thinking about how you will transition into the first 90 days of your new career. Planning your first 90 days is not only important to your success in the new role, but it also helps you set the foundation to more easily market yourself if you decide to make another career move or if you find yourself a casualty of a company reorganization or workforce reduction.
Landing the job is a relief and a reason to celebrate… but getting the offer is just the beginning. Now it’s time to ask, “What will I do differently this time around?”
To experience success in the first 90 days of your new job, ask yourself these questions.
What do I need to learn?
In the first 30 days ask, “What do I need to learn?” Begin studying the products or services. Understand the organization. Who does your department interact with to get the job done?
Also ask, “Who do I need to know? Who are the influencers? Who does my boss listen to and respect?” Start scheduling appointments with the people that can help you learn more about the company and its processes.
Be a continuous learner. Making a commitment to professional development helps groom you for success and new opportunities.
What are the expectations?
Make sure you understand your boss’ expectations. Ask what the priorities are for the first 90 days. Know how performance will be measured. Also, make sure you know what is most important to your boss and make that important in your work and how you operate. Obtaining this information upfront helps you stay focused and aligned in the right areas from the beginning as well as minimizes the risk of surprise later due to what you did not know.
What are my goals?
Get clarification on what is expected of you in the role in general and the specific goals assigned to you. Understand the department and company goals and how your role contributes to them.
For the first 60 days, be sure you are observing the culture and the issues. Determine what is working well and what is blocking productivity or results. What would benefit the department, the company, or the customers? Identify areas of improvement. Then reflect on your skills and decide how you can leverage them to proactively implement solutions and ideas that are important to your leaders and add value. Determine which ideas can be implemented quickly and which ones are longer term, then create your plan for each.
How will I add value?
Even before your first day, reflect on: “How do I want to add value in this new role?” “How do I want to be known?” These questions are about knowing your brand, then consistently and intentionally developing and promoting that brand over the first 90 days. Think about your past achievements and reputation because this will help you determine how you can apply and expand those associated strengths in your new job.
After you begin your new role, observe your team and determine early what unique value you bring. This is not to compete. It’s all about knowing how you can differentiate yourself from others and apply that mindset to a variety of situations and projects.
What am I accomplishing?
Continuously document your accomplishments, with measurable results, as they occur. Doing this will simplify your performance evaluation process and make it easy to update your resume. Should you enter the job market again, employers will want to know what results you achieved most recently.
The focus on understanding and meeting goals and expectations, knowing and applying your value, and fostering continuous learning are some of the critical elements toward a successful first 90 days. Set your intention to stay focused on these areas beyond the first 90 days, and you will contribute to continued success that keeps you marketable within and outside of your current organization.