The First 90 Days: Now that I have started my new job, what’s next?

by Gary Markell

90 days 1Getting the offer and accepting is just the beginning. How you plan for the next 30, 60, 90 days will play a big part in your overall success in a role.

It is now time to focus on the first steps of building a solid foundation. You have just begun your excursion. As you may have already started to think about what to do first, your new employer has expectations and objectives in mind as well. You were hired because leadership believed that you would do favorably in the role. They envisioned you, not only to “fill the position”, but also able 90 days 2to take on stimulating challenges, learn some new things, make some positive impacts, and to provide innovative distinction as you grow and progress within the organization.


1. Act Now!

Be proactive and determined to act immediately – establish an action plan! It is a mindset. Be a self-starter. Self-starters often end up doing what frankly most are not expecting them to do. Surprise them. You will send a prodigious message when leadership realizes you have chosen to be passionate about your role and have the attitude of a frontrunner.


2. Determine Expectations of the Leadership

Ask questions! Here are some examples:

  • How have others been successful in this role and what steps did they take to achieve success?
  • What are my most urgent projects?
  • How can I improve upon what has been done so far?

Schedule a brief weekly meeting with your boss to confirm and validate progress.


3. Research

Research the company! Learn as much as you can during your initial orientation period. In fact, I recommend starting research prior to your start date.


4. Determine Best Practices

Definition of BEST PRACTICES according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary: “A procedure that has been shown by research and experience to produce optimal results and that is established or proposed as a standard suitable for widespread adoption.” Whether the company is large or small, no matter what industry, best practices are usually already in place. I recommend taking the initiative and find out what they are, and learn to utilize them within your space.


5. Understand all Company Policies

Take the time to learn company policies as soon as you can. Many HR departments will offer written information for new employees. These policies often incorporate standard conduct rules, dress-codes, company security procedures, risk prevention, and local and federal government compliance.


6. Create Good Habits

It is a matter of focus. Good habits or bad habits are going to be established depending upon your focus. As you learn your way around your new position, take notes and put action plans into writing. Having your plans, targets and objectives in writing will motivate and reinforce good habits. Have them visible where you will view them frequently.


7. Be a Sponge

Knowledge transfer is determined by how available you become to learning and how much you listen when you have the opportunity to grow your knowledge base. Take advantage of all opportunities for training, and one-on-one knowledge transfer. Make a point to invite people out for breakfast or lunch. Choose to glean information from the most productive, above-average, and proven impact players.


8. Establish Short-term Goals

Once you have started to become acclimated, you should be establishing some of your own goals. These will change and evolve through the coming months. Along with the influence of leadership, upgrading your short-term goals and attaining stepping-stone successes, will help mold your personal career originality, reputation and archetype.


As you are progressing in your new role, developing a positive proactive first 90 days plan can forever influence how and where your career takes you. Or should I say, “Where you take your career”.


Gary L. Markell

IBM Global Business Services | GBS Commercial Recruiting


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