Starting A New Job – How To Impress In Your First 90 Days
Winning your dream job is only the start; now you have to walk it like you talk it. Your new manager wants to be reassured they made the right decision to hire you – and your co-workers need to know that you’ll be a good addition to the team. Find out how you can show the value you can add in the first 90 days of any new job.
First 30 Days
Turn Up On Time
Don’t be late on your first day. Make sure you have any tools you need to do your job and that you’re ready to get to work. Bring any paperwork you’ve been asked for and be willing to spend time in onboarding tasks that could range from health and safety briefings to a business lunch.
Why Have You been Hired?
Whether you’ve been hired to dream up blue sky strategies, due to your specialist knowledge or because you can lay more bricks than average, you need to understand where you fit within the business strategy. Bringing in new business is never a bad idea, but if your boss really wants you to improve efficiencies, then that should be your focus. Ultimately, you’ve been hired to make the business more profitable; now figure out how you can be seen to do it.
What Does Your Boss Expect Of You?
Any ambitious new hire wants to quickly deliver value for their new employer, but don’t feel desperate to validate your appointment the moment you arrive. Before you can even think about delivering a ‘quick win’, you need to understand what a ‘win’ is for your boss. Understand how your manager’s success is measured, help them to achieve their goals – and in turn, help them to look good in front of their boss.
Work out if they want regular updates, or if they only want to hear from you when there’s a problem. Some managers want to be involved in every conversation, where others just want you to get on with the job. Neither is right or wrong; you just need to work out which kind of manager you have – and deliver what they want.
If figuring out your boss is your first priority, then the company’s next. Learn what it values – both in terms of its people and its business – and apply yourself to it. Pay attention to how people in your new firm communicate with one another. Are email trails more valued than telephone conversations? Go with it. If you think there’s a better way to get things done, save it for when you’ve established yourself as part of the team.
Back To The Future
Only start to help writing your new employer’s future when you know its backstory. It’s tempting to make far-reaching suggestions early on, but failing to learn from their historical mistakes will only undermine you. Learn from them so you don’t repeat them.
Get To Know Your Co-Workers
Anyone who wasn’t involved in your interview process probably has no idea why you’ve been added to the team. Make sure to establish your credentials and how you can help. Nobody likes a show off, but it’s a good idea to share your experience, previous roles and achievements as you get to know the people around you.
Make Your Colleagues Look Good
It’s a lonely road if you try to prove your worth by exposing the weaknesses of the people you work with. Instead, find ways to improve the way your manager looks on your peers and you could win important alliances. After all, you don’t yet know who could prove influential on your career progress.
Get To Know Your Customers & Clients
If your job means that you have direct contact with customers or clients, you should say ‘hi’ in your first month. Reassuring them that their level of service with either remain the same – or improve – will speak volumes to them about how much you value their custom.
First 60 Days
Take It To The Next Level
Talk to the people around – and above – you about how you can apply your skills to further your team, department and the company as a whole. You’ve been hired to do a particular job, but taking on additional tasks and responsibilities now will establish your reputation as a team player and someone who has more to offer than the basic job spec.
Get Your Co-Workers To Know You
If you spent your first month on the outside looking in, your second month should be spent trying to bring others into your orbit. Step out from behind your monitor or clipboard and suggest a night out – or just going for lunch.
Engage anyone you’ve identified as team players that could solidify your position. Concentrate on people who make things happen and hold power, influence or knowledge. Move anybody who’s an office politician or time waster to the edge of your circle.
Be Seen To Improve
Nobody’s perfect. It doesn’t matter if you’re an Agile expert or a bricklayer; you can always improve. Catch up on the latest learning in the field, or improve your physical strength and stamina. Raising your game after you’ve got the job is the single clearest signal that you want to succeed in your new role.
First 90 Days
Take The Lead
Now that you’re seen as a team player, think about volunteering to take point on a new project, whether that’s client focused or just improving the reception area. Being seen to be a trustworthy project manager when there’s no business pressure will put you at a definite advantage when the stakes are higher.
Use Your Initiative
If you know that a new project or client is coming, then position yourself to be of use. Research the sector, industry or technology so that you can bring knowledge to the table from day one.
Formalise Your Presence
If there’s a social club, council, board or committee, join it. Build on the relationships you’ve fostered in your first two months to integrate yourself into the fabric of the company.
Pay It Forward
Take note of everything that you’ve learned in your first three months as a new recruit – and document it. From IT log-ins or document control to canteen culture, record it if you would have found it useful in your first 90 days. Then pass it on to your manager, so they can improve the onboarding process for their next hire. Not only will this make your manager look good, but it also reminds them that you’re a team player looking for any way you can improve the way the business runs.