The First 90 Days in a New Job

PeterLet’s face it, first impressions count, nowhere more so than in a new position. During the first 3 months, you’ll want to have several accomplishments, build new relationships and learn the culture. You’ll need to get clarity on what’s expected of you, and how they will measure success. Of course, you’ll have spoken about this during the interview process, but inevitably, further discussions are necessary. How complete is the job description for your position? If there isn’t one in place, you’ll need to meet with your boss to ensure that your goals are aligned with corporate strategies.

You’ll be meeting with a lot of new people during this time, gathering information and identifying resources to enable you to be successful. Prepare your questions and be direct, you’re still in learning mode but 90 days will pass quickly. Jot things down, you’ll be taking in so much information that you won’t be able to remember it all. I recently did a termination meeting where the manager was being let go because “he didn’t take any notes in meetings.” If everything had gotten accomplished, it may not have been a problem; everything didn’t get done, so it was a problem.

Your colleagues and the people who report to you are the resources that will matter most to you. If you have people reporting to you, take the time to let them know what’s expected of them, give them feedback and gather evidence to measure their performance. To be at the top of your game, you’ll have to delegate while maintaining quality. This will require dealing with any performance issues right away. Identify who needs training or coaching and get a handle on how this gets included in the budget.

Take the time to look in the mirror and evaluate yourself. How do your skills and developmental areas stack up in consideration of this new position? Do you need help in certain areas, a mentor, a coach? The hours will be long during the first 90 days and you’ll have to manage your time and other responsibilities extremely well. Don’t ignore the social side of work, especially early on so don’t turn down invitations. Put together a plan for your first 90 days that outlines your goals, the resources needed, developmental activities and how you’ll measure success. This will fold into a 6 month and one year plan that you can keep tabs on by jotting down notes daily.

Guest Blogger, Peter Frauley, PCC, CEC ICF Certified Leadership & Career Coach