Starting a New Job: Maximizing Your First 90 Days
Starting a new job brings a blend of excitement and nervous anticipation. You’ve triumphed in the interview, endured the candidate selection process, and now, armed with determination, you’ve accepted the extended offer (and maybe even negotiated like a pro!). As you prepare for your first day, take a deep breath, find that outfit that exudes confidence, do your power pose, and brace yourself for this exhilarating new chapter.
Whether it’s a short-term position, a stepping stone, or your new dream job, here are some tips to ensure you maximize the new learning curve of those first 90 days and set yourself up for success.
First 30 Days
Although learning a new role is stressful, take advantage of your current low workload to fully understand the company and your position.
During this first month, familiarize yourself with the internal systems and available resources. Spend time identifying where to find the important information you’ll need to do your job so when the time comes, you can quickly find a datasheet or reference material.
Focus on understanding the general structure of the organization outside of your immediate team. Oftentimes, these meetings are recommended or scheduled by your supervisor. If they aren’t, request brief meetings with the teams or departments you’ll be working closely alongside. Study company organizational charts so you know who’s who. Next time you get cc’d on an email thread from the associate director of a department, you’ll know exactly who they are and the focus of their team.
Complete all digital and in-person training, along with reading any operating procedures or reference materials for your role. Even if you don’t have everything memorized by day 30, knowing where to find the answer when you need it will pay off. Contact your trainer to see if your company offers an internal mentorship program. Working with a mentor could be a great way to thrive in your role, grow your skills, strengthen internal relationships and become more familiar with the company culture.
First 60 Days
Now that you have gained a solid foundation, let’s dive into the details of the next 30 days.
If one-on-one meetings with your manager are not standard practice in your department, request time to speak to them individually. Use this time to discuss the optimal workflow of the role, time management tips and goals for your first 6 months – 1 year. During this conversation, determine if there are any time-sensitive projects that need focus early in your tenure. This demonstrates to your manager how seriously you are taking the job, and sets you up for success because you know exactly what is expected of you.
Since you’ve gotten to know your immediate team, use this next month to get to know auxiliary programs and teams. Even though you may not work with them daily, who are the other stakeholders who may be involved in your proposals or projects in the future? Get to know their work preferences and communication styles (check out 10 Tips for Professional Communication), so that when it’s time to engage, you’re prepared for the conversation.
At this point, you’re established enough in your role to know what you’re doing well, where you may still have questions and what professional development opportunities could assist in your growth over this next year.
Take an assessment of what has come naturally to you in this role: what are you doing well? While you need to be aware of both ends of the spectrum, understanding what you do well will allow you to capitalize on opportunities, projects and growth that inherently align with your strengths and interests.
Communicate frequently with your manager to ensure you’re receiving the training and support you need to be successful in your role. The learning curve in a new role is different for everyone, so there’s no prescribed time to begin pursuing professional development opportunities. Check out The Importance and Value of Professional Training and plan to have this conversation with your leadership so you can strategically plan for enrollment dates, funding opportunities and how to implement new learning into your workflow.
Your first several months at a new job is an exciting time. Use the opportunity of being new to your advantage. Lean into the training opportunities and leave no question unasked if it will help you do your job better. You’ve got this!
Kyla Hensley is the Process and Training Manager at Hire Heroes USA. Hire Heroes USA provides free job search assistance to U.S. military members, veterans and their spouses, and we help companies connect with opportunities to hire them. We have a proven track record of success helping over 75,000 veterans and military spouses get hired since the company was founded. The services never expire. Sign up today at www.hireheroesusa.org.