What to do the First 90 Days of a New Job


Hit the Ground Running – The First 90 Days of  a New Job 

By: Paul Keijzer  Original Post Date: June 5, 2014


1. Have a Point of View

Lets start with probably the most controversial point:

For new entrants to make an impact and contribute they must have a point of view about their new company, department, industry and brand.

People who disagree would say that new employees should first learn the company’s ways and then come up with a point of view. My argument against this is that people who you’ve just hired have a fresh ‘outside-in’ perspective and aren’t influenced by company group thinking. Its good to have a view from the outside.

Having a point-of-view is one thing, communicating it effectively in a way that people can accept it is a completely different ball-game. For this the new entrant needs to do two things:

  1. Make sure to get the facts right
  2. Express your view constructively so that the receiver can do something with the information

2. Build Your Network

The key to succeed in any organisation is to build your network.

Your line manager will most likely take you around the office and introduce you to people. Don’t make the mistake of getting stuck behind your computer from the beginning. If you do, you’ll miss an amazing opportunity that’s only available at the beginning of an assignment: the opportunity to introduce yourself and connect with new people.

These don’t have to be formal scheduled meetings from your induction program, ideally they should be more informal. Take colleagues out for a lunch, buy a coffee for them, drop into the office with a box of donuts. Anything you feel will make you stand out in a good way – without seeming like you’re kissing you know what. Take the time, ask the questions, show interest and ask for help.

3. Understand How Your Company Works

Early in my career someone gave me the following tip to get insights on how processes work:

‘Staple yourself’ to a customer order and follow the company processes all the way from a customer ordering a service or product to the company receiving the money for it.

Other than that you have to get a good feel of how the informal organisation works and how you can get stuff done. This is where the quality and size of your network can make a big difference.

4. Clarify Expectations

For people to take you serious you first have to establish your credibility.

This is linked not only to your resume and track record you come with but more specifically to deliver results in your new job. Your number one credo in a new job should be to ‘do what you say and say what you do’. Say no if you can’t do it or don’t know how to do it and make sure you’re very clear on what the boss’s expectations are. This will often require you to articulate and mirror them since bosses are notoriously bad in clarifying their own thoughts and explaining what they expect.

5. Give, Give and Give

Last but not least:

Go into your new job with the mind set to give, give and give some more.

It’s not about how you achieve your personal objectives but how you can contribute to the goals of your bosses and colleagues. Give without expecting to get back. My experience is that, although counter-intuitive, most people will at some point reciprocate, And eventually you’ll be able to identify the ‘takers’ and avoid them.

So that is my top 5. Hope this helps in creating an impact in your first 90 days of a new job. I would love to hear how you got off to a great start in a new job and/or company in the comments below.