Starting a New Job

The First 90 Days and How to Succeed in Your New Job

January 27, 2021

Congratulations on your new job and proceeding into the first 90 days in a new role. We know that new jobs come equipped with challenges, such as a change in the environment, different responsibilities and new colleagues. Let us help you step into this new role and set yourself up for success. In this article, you will find helpful tips and a strategic game plan to guide you through the first week, month and the first 90 days of your new job.

Why are the first 90 days of a new job so important?

The first 90 days of a new job are important as they constitute the transition and learning phase. This is when you'll be meeting your colleagues, adapting to a different work environment and establishing new routines and goals. You'll also be learning a lot of relevant information during your first 90 days, so prepare to be open-minded and flexible. Another reason your first 90 days are important is that no matter what the workplace or situation is, first impressions matter.

The first week of a new job

Let's break down the first 90 days and focus on the first week in your new role. Here's what you should do during your first week in a new workplace.

Introduce yourself to everyone

It's natural to feel self-confident and nervous entering a new work environment and introducing yourself to your new colleagues. If this is the case, start with your immediate team and find out everyone's individual role. Always remember to listen more than you speak and consider preparing a small script beforehand to relieve some of the pressure. Once you feel more comfortable, you can proceed to introduce yourself to other people in your workplace.

Another option is to ask your manager for assistance. Relay that introducing yourself to the team is a high priority and they will undoubtedly appreciate the enthusiasm. Alternatively, if you have meetings scheduled in your first week, ask if you can introduce yourself in the beginning. Most importantly, try and remember people's names. This will go a long way into helping you make a great first impression.

When making introductions, pay attention and see if there's a new colleague that stands out to you as someone you may be able to develop a trusted relationship with over the first 90 days. Get to know them over lunch or a coffee and you're guaranteed to feel more comfortable and stable in your new workplace.

Related: How to Introduce Yourself to New Co-Workers

Ask questions

The only way you're going to learn is to not be afraid to ask questions. However, ensure you ask specific questions, so your colleague can reciprocate with an accurate answer. It may also be beneficial to write down any questions as your day progresses. Then, you can either email or ask your manager for answers in person—see if they have a preference beforehand.

Learn how to navigate your new workplace

During your first week, try and soak in as much important information as possible. This includes where the bathrooms are located, as well as the lunch and break situation. This also extends to understanding the company culture and structure. Ask your new colleagues questions like how each department operates and whether individual or team successes matter. The first week is a good time to navigate your new commute as well. Experiment with different transportation methods and routes until you find the routine that suits you best.

Take initiative

Next, we suggest taking initiative and seeing where you can add value to your new workplace. If your manager mentioned a specific need in your interview, consider writing up a short proposal or putting yourself forward to take on the challenge.

Related: Ice Breaker Questions for First Meetings

The first month of a new job

Now you've successfully conquered your first week in a new role and are settling into your workplace, let's look at exactly what you should do during your first month.

Focus on getting to know your team

After initial introductions during your first week, spend your first month in this new role with your team. Take note of how certain people work together, as well as your colleagues' weaknesses and strengths. These insights will be invaluable as you tackle the first 90 days in your new job.

Research

In the first month, set aside time to learn more about the organisation's history, structure, key players and customers. Whether you ask a colleague or do online research, this information will be invaluable in the long term.

Set good habits

By the end of your first month, you should have developed a good routine and be effectively managing your time, calendar and to-do lists.

Define success with your manager

Make time to sit down with your manager during your first month to determine your mutual expectations. In this meeting, discuss important topics like how you will successfully work together, how they approach business, how they strive for excellence and how your job performance will be assessed.

Related: The Importance of Positive Feedback and How To Deliver It To Others

Be open-minded

It's always an adjustment adapting to a new workplace, so remind yourself to be both flexible and open-minded during your first month. Don't be afraid to ask questions as you learn everything there is to know about your new work environment.

The first 90 days of a new job

Set yourself up for success during the first 90 days of a new job by following these steps:

Celebrate early wins

It's never too early to celebrate wins in your new workplace. Small successes demonstrate to your new manager and colleagues that you're adapting well and that you've successfully got things accomplished already. If possible, share credit with your team to show them that you're a team player.

Challenge yourself

The first 90 days in a new role is the perfect time to take ownership and create ambitious professional goals. Striving to reach a higher potential is where we tend to see the most significant personal and professional growth.

Set boundaries

During their first month in a new role, it's common for people to compromise their boundaries by arriving early, staying late or taking on extra projects. This is a natural response, as we want to appear to be both passionate and committed. However, it's important to re-establish these boundaries by the end of the first 90 days. Otherwise, you may become stressed and burnt out and you won't be putting forward your best work. Boundary setting may also include learning to say no, so you can refocus on your goals and continue to effectively manage your time and projects.

Do a three-month review

It's common practice to complete a review when you reach the first 90 days in a new role. Even if this isn't an established routine at your new workplace, ask your manager if they could provide you with an informal review. This is an effective way to check in with each other to ensure you're on the same page and to ask your manager what milestones they expect you to reach in the next three months and year.

Reconnect with old colleagues

Now that you're settled into your new role, reach out to your former co-workers to maintain your professional network. Networking is so important, no matter what industry you're in, as it allows you to keep updated on both the job market and professional trends.

Related: Become a Networking Expert in 7 Steps

Be gentle with yourself

You will inevitably face frustrations and make mistakes in the first 90 days in your new job. Don't fixate on these errors and what you've yet to accomplish. Instead, focus on those goals you wrote down previously and just how far you've already come. Be gentle with your expectations, but also believe in yourself, as that's the key to succeeding in any role.

What you should aim to achieve by the end of the first 90 days

By the end of the first 90 days in a new role, you should know your team, department and organisation's structure. You should also have developed strong relationships with colleagues and managers. In the first 90 days, it's paramount that you have clear professional goals too, which is why it's so important to take the time to sit down with your manager for a review. Finally, you should have achieved some small wins, which we think always deserve to be celebrated.

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