Congratulations! After countless interviews, job searches, information sessions, and daunting application processes, you finally landed the job. Now, the real work begins. Surviving the first 90 days at your new job is crucial for your development and personal growth within a new role. No matter your experience level or familiarity with the new position, you can ensure success by creating a plan to evaluate your skills and create goals to grow within the new position. Your first 90 days are viewed as a trial period to how well you adapt to your new role within the company. Impressions are everything, so come prepared and ready to learn.
Having checkpoints for the first 30, 60, and 90 days of your new job will help you better evaluate your performance levels and create specific metrics that will help deliver your goals. HubSpot has great downloadable templates to create plans for each checkpoint here. Get to know the company culture, your new teammates or internal department, surrounding environment, and ask questions to figure out if the company is the right fit for you. Become comfortable with your new day-to-day routine to find what works best.
In some cases, companies have a successful onboarding process to ease into your responsibilities, expectations, and working relationships, but not all companies are helpful in that aspect. Being proactive and creating a self-evaluation for the first 30, 60, and 90 days at your new job will help you learn about your role and the responsibilities it entails.
The First Day
The first day on the job can be daunting, but also exciting. To properly prepare, plan out your outfit the night before to comply with your company’s requirements (business professional, business casual, etc.) on office attire. If you work remotely, still plan on wearing professional clothing and be prepared to show yourself on camera- it allows your coworkers to put a name to a face. If you’re commuting, allocate enough travel time to arrive at the office a couple of minutes early to introduce yourself and get a feel for your new working environment. If working remotely, join your meetings a few minutes early with your camera on. Employers appreciate receptiveness and talking to someone, rather than staring at a blank screen.
Check your inbox for any e-mails you might have missed from HR or your hiring manager. Ensure you have everything needed to expedite the onboarding process during your first day. Companies will most likely ask for your I-9 original documents and photo ID to enter your information into their database. If you forget to bring them, they will remember and it will take longer to enter your information into payroll, so be sure to bring them. First impressions are critical in your colleagues determining your work ethic.
The first week at your new job can seem very overwhelming. You will be introduced to new databases, clients, information systems, abbreviations, departments, etc. the list is endless. In your first week, be a sponge and absorb as much information as you can. Be a friendly face, when possible, you never know who you are talking to. Hold the elevator for someone, say hello to the receptionist, be courteous, and don’t be afraid to introduce yourself as a new employee.
It is imperative to get to know your colleagues as soon as you can. If you are entering an entry-level position or were hired as a new manager, creating time to get to know who you will be working with builds trust. Your colleagues will be more willing to collaborate with you, share ideas, and collaborate if they feel heard. In most cases, Outlook has a calendar that can sync your schedule with your colleagues. Creating meetings with various colleagues on your team and in your department to introduce yourself is a great start to developing relationships. It shows you want to learn and are willing to help.
Don’t be afraid to make a brief, energetic introduction when the time is right. Read how the other person responds to you. If they seem distracted, keep it short and sweet. If they seem interested, get to know them better. Be aware of your surroundings. Don’t interrupt a meeting to introduce yourself and be wary of how others share communal spaces (lunchroom, office, cubical, etc.). Do your best to remember names and keep a record of who you have met, and others you should get to know. Keep a notebook with brief descriptions of those you have met to help you remember their names.
As a new hire, it is best to learn what you need to do to be successful in your new position. The job description doesn’t cover the daily tasks you are required to do, so be sure to ask well-timed questions during your first week. Think about what you need to know and prioritize the information you need. If you have issues with onboarding or need access to certain documents, entry badges, etc. take immediate action. If you have a question about a future project, write down your question and ask your manager in a meeting later.
Meet With Your Manager
First thing is first: meet with your manager to establish personal and professional goals you want to tackle while working within your new position. If you are a manager, meet with your team to discuss the latest projects they have been working on and get a feel for how they like to be managed. Ask them what their main goals are within your department for the next year and discuss the major pain points that currently reside within the company. In the meeting, remember to bring a pen and paper to take notes- it’s expected and shows you are respecting their time and attendance.
When meeting with your supervisor, get to know them. Ask them what interested them in joining the company and get a feel for who they are as a person. If time allows, discuss each other’s favorite food, hobbies, travel destinations, etc. It is always easier to communicate with someone you feel comfortable with. Most likely, you will have several meetings with your manager during the first week. Ask them about expectations they expect of your position, how you can be proactive in preparing for future responsibilities, and ask who you should get to know within the company.
By the first month, you should be familiar with how your new job functions, but expectations can still be a blur. With multiple projects happening and an overwhelming number of tasks to complete, creating time to talk with your manager about expectations and metrics for measuring your success is important. By now, you have questions. Don’t hesitate to ask questions about any information you need clarification on. Determine who your key stakeholders are you need to research and connect with.
Create a routine with healthy habits. If working remotely, allocate enough time to exercise, eat breakfast, take a break, etc. so you do not feel burnt out too quickly. Get organized by setting up your calendar, monthly meetings, and to-do lists. Be open-minded and receptive to those taking the time to help you. Be a better listener than a speaker during your first month.
During your first 60 days, accomplish a task. Review your business objectives within your department and discuss specific metrics with your colleagues to contribute to your skills. After 60 days, you want to be comfortable having other colleagues jump in and contribute where applicable, and they want to feel the same. Understand how your department communicates internally and externally. By now, you should have a good understanding of how your department’s processes and systems work. Continue to familiarize yourself with new applications and ask your colleagues how to navigate more effectively within these applications.
Collaborate with colleagues in different departments to gain a stronger network and become a familiar face. Understanding how other departments operate will allow for more cohesive results across our organization. Schedule a meeting after 60 days to discuss your progress and goals with your manager or internal team.
Make an impact. Now is the time to add value to your company. You should have all the skills, resources, and connections to deliver assignments that make an impact within your department. Whatever goals you have set for yourself should be specific to help your internal team. Ensure you are continuing to deliver with specific metrics on how you attain your goals. Make another meeting with your manager to review your progress. Ask what you should continue to do and inquire about the things you could do differently/ more efficiently. If you are a manager, ask your team for feedback on what you can do differently/ keep doing.
Most likely, after the first 90 days, you will plan out the trajectory of your next six months within the company. Now is the time to plan for your long-term goals and plan for areas you want to contribute/ grow. Your previous goals will align with your daily habits, routine, and day-to-day that will help you succeed in continuing to make an impact.
Not For Me
You have been working at your new job, have become accustomed to the culture, and know it’s not for you. You recognize various red flags and know you are not going to be happy working here for long. It is best to acknowledge why you are not happy in your position, and quickly move on. Don’t run at the first sign of a challenge but communicate with your manager or HR (depending on the issue) what you feel like you could do to solve the issue. It is a common thought that jumping ship after a few weeks is unprofessional, but it is up to your discretion. Decide how long you could be unemployed with your financial situation. Continue looking for other positions and if you move further into another company’s hiring process, notify your manager, and express why you are looking for other positions.
It is best for both you and the company to openly communicate your concerns. If you are not happy and know it is not for you, don’t stay because you feel stuck. It is best to know what you do not like about this position, to find one you enjoy. Staying for the sake of a salary is not going to motivate you in the long run. Know your limits, respect your own boundaries, and find what works best for you. If you’re struggling in a new position, let me know. We can talk through the issues and help create a plan of action to navigate the situation without burning bridges.