Industry Insight

The First 90 Days: What to Focus On

Starting a new position can be overwhelming for a number of reasons. You’re adjusting to a new environment, learning new responsibilities and systems, and setting new rhythms for your day.

When you’re finding your place at a new company - whether it’s part-time or full-time, in-office or remote - try to focus on these five things and you’ll set yourself up for success.

  1. Get to know your co-workers. First impressions really do set the tone. Take some time to get to know your co-workers, including those in different departments, and build your network of support. You may even consider establishing a relationship with a mentor to help guide you in your new endeavor. Either way, it’s important to know your expertise and leadership skills will only take you so far if you don’t have a team of people that supports you.

  2. Connect with your leaders. Just as it’s critical to intentionally get to know your co-workers, the same is true for your leaders. Connect with your immediate supervisor (or your extended leadership team) once every few weeks to ensure you’re understanding the needs and expectations of your role. If you express a willingness to learn, it will no doubt be recognized.

  3. Set goals. Don’t come out of the gate too strong, too fast. Set S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) goals for yourself. Share them with a co-worker or leader to make sure you’re on the right track. You don’t want to immediately overwhelm yourself or take on an unrealistic workload that you can’t maintain long term. 

  4. Take small steps. For the same reasons, you also don’t want to come in demanding large, swathing changes either. Table any large ideas you have until after your 90-day threshold. Spend more time observing and taking everything in rather than focusing on what you’d like to change. That approach will provide better insight and help you gain the trust (and respect) of your team first.

  5. Ask questions. Take advantage of your training period! Ask clarifying questions about your new role, the company, and expectations of your position or department. No one expects you to master everything in one day, so don’t try to meet an unreachable expectation. You worked hard to earn this position; take it all in.

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