The First 90 Days – A New Employee’s Top Tips

Congratulations! You’re starting a new job. You’ve cast aside the security blanket of your previous working environment. You’ve survived the rigorous hiring process. Now, brimming with confidence, you arrive for the first day of work secure in the knowledge that of all the candidates, you were the one that was identified as having the right combination of skills and attitude for the job. But lingering in the back of your mind there may be questions about whether you made the right move and if in reality, the new job will live up to its expectations.

There is no magic formula that will assure a smooth honeymoon into your new role; however the following tips can help you make the most of your new opportunity in your first 90 days:

Do your homework: Take the time to learn all you can about your new company. Ask for all relevant company material such as its products and services and/or business strategies – anything that will allow you to gain a little extra knowledge. Jot down key questions you want to get answered.

Assess the business case for your hire. You were hired for a reason. To add design or technical skills that were lacking? To train others? To oversee projects? Learning where you fit within the overall business strategy is something that may seem obvious but is often overlooked. Figure this out early.

Show your work. After a rigorous interview process, it can feel like you described your skills and experiences over and over again, so now that you’re hired you may feel that it’s now time to dive straight in to business. However there will be some people in the company who don’t know who you are, why you were hired, or what specifically you bring to the table. Make sure your team and colleagues know your background, as it will provide context to who you are, a view into your style, and an idea of how you will work best together.

How to make good things happen right away. You want your new manager and colleagues to feel that something new and good is happing. Early ‘wins’ excite and energize people and can build credibility. Also share credit if you are working in a team. This is one of the quickest ways to gain acceptance internally. Involve your team from the get-go and they can help you steer through political minefields and perhaps polish your ideas. When it works, give them the credit.  Replace “I” and “me” in your vocab with “we” and “us.” You will quickly build support and good will. The object is to create trust, loyalty and commitment.

Learn the communication patterns. Cracking the code of company culture often comes down to simply learning how people communicate with one another. How does your manager expect you to keep them informed? Do they want all the details or only the big problems? How does your team communicate?  You need to work how you can incorporate your own communication style into that of the organization and the patterns that already exist.

Establish expectations with your Manager. It is important to define what your manager will want you to learn and accomplish? How quickly do they expect to see results? The more clarity you build around these issues, the easier your transition will be.

How you manage the first 90 days of your new role really will shape your satisfaction for the job, as well as how you integrate yourself into the organisation so it is crucial to make those 90 days count!