So, you’ve applied for the job, aced the interview process and are basking in the glory of that awesome new job feeling. Well done you! But now what?
Where do you go from here to make sure you get off to a great start in your new role? The first 90 days are crucial and the actions you take during this time will have a major impact on your success or failure. Most probation periods also last around this time so it can often be a vulnerable phase while you’re also trying to climb a learning curve and operate in a new environment.
But don’t worry. Our experts have put together some tips to help you settle into your new role without putting too much pressure on yourself. Good luck!
1. Don't be shy!
By staying in touch with your employer before you start you can get ahead of the game and find out more information about your role and how it fits into the wider team and business goals even before your first day.
While the thought of introducing yourself repeatedly might fill you with anxiety, you’ll want to show your enthusiasm and get to know people in your first days. You can also ask your manager for a list of people they think you should meet with. Try to remember people’s names but if you do forget, a simple “Could you remind me of your name?” will do.
We spend a lot of time at work (90,000 hours over a lifetime*)! That’s a lot of time spent with your colleagues so, make sure to get to know them outside of work and try to get involved in after-hour activities. Drinks after work, lunches with your team or even virtual quizzes are all great ways to develop strong relationships with your new colleagues.
2. Define success
In your first few weeks, it’s important to establish mutual expectations with your manager. Find out what is expected from you within the team, the wider business, and as in individual. What does your success look like?
While you need to know the basics aspects of your role, for example; your working hours and responsibilities, it’s also important to understand the more in-depth parts of your role and how it contributes to the bigger picture. How your performance will be measured and what your job progression will look like, are just a couple examples of this.
Write down any questions you have so you don’t forget and raise them in a one to one with your manager. This is also a good time to find out what their pain points are and to plan how you can reduce these and add value quickly (although you may already know these needs from your interviews). Also ask them how they prefer to communicate – in person, over the phone, via email or video chat?
Ask yourself: What do you want your legacy to be?
3. Develop good habits
Get into good habits from day one. A new job can be a fresh start, so make sure to start it on a positive note and turn up ten minutes early. Decide on how you're going to manage your time, calendar and projects and get set up for your new way of working. By establishing a good working routine early on, you're taking steps in the right direction to achieve your goals and earn the respect from your team and colleagues.
This is also the time to set boundaries. Coming in early and staying late after starting a new job can be a way of seeking acceptance but you should try and re-establish the boundaries that help you do your best work. Remember, saying “no” will help you focus on your goals and better manage your time.
4. Ditch the bad ones!
This is the ideal time to shed old routines that aren’t serving you anymore! In your first 90 days, avoid developing negative habits and work hard to break any existing ones.
5. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
Nobody likes making mistakes, but they can happen, especially in a new role. Feel the fear and do it anyway and make sure to throw yourself into your new role and step outside of your comfort zone; know that you will make a couple of initial mistakes and that it is perfectly fine to do so!
Although we don’t like making mistakes, they are a great learning tool and sometimes you need to make mistakes to improve.
6. Get up to speed
Your first weeks are more about listening and less about talking. Every organisation has a culture and norms of behaviour that people are expected to operate within so try to absorb these in your first weeks.
Take the time to get up to speed on both your industry and your job role; what kind of technology your candidates and clients will be working with, how these fits into their businesses etc. Is there a particular code you need to learn for your role?
7. Review, review, review
Don’t forget, while your employer will be seeing how you get on for your first three to six months it’s also a time to see if they are the right fit for you!
Don’t be afraid to ask your manager directly for ways to improve and ask for feedback on how you’ve been doing and make sure to check you’re still on track to accomplish the goals you set in your first weeks.
Finally, make sure to regularly highlight your wins in a way that makes your manager and team look good throughout the first months in your new role and celebrate those early successes!
* Source: Gettysburg College