The first 90 days

The first 90 days
SEEK content teamupdated on 06 September, 2020

Congratulations. You’ve landed the job of your dreams or a fantastic new promotion. Now it’s time to step up to the new role.  This is easy to do well if you know how. Follow this checklist for an easier transition:

Month 1:

  • Promote yourself mentally. Michael Watkins, author of best-selling book The First 90 Days advises consciously letting go of your old job and imagining yourself in the new role.  
  • Meet the team. Get to know your new team as soon as possible. Find out what each member does. It’s a good idea to be tactful and listen more than you speak. You don’t want to set yourself apart, says Sharn Rayner of human resources company POD Consulting.
  • Do your homework. Set aside time and seek out the right people to find out about the organisation’s history, structures, and the people. Make sure as well that you understand the customers. The people and organisations that buy or use your services ultimately pay your salary or wages.
  • Get comfortable with the culture. “Find out ‘how things are done around here’,” says Rayner. Ask questions of other staff – especially in the relaxed atmosphere of the tearoom - about what makes the organisation and your department tick. Those questions could be: “do individual or team successes matter”?  Or “how do I fit into this organisation?” says Rayner.
  • Create a learning plan. Everyone can learn more in a job, says Rayner, no matter how experienced they are. Her staff members, for example, are HR professionals. But not all have worked in consulting before and must learn that side of the business.

Month 2:

  • Build credibility. Your early actions will have a huge influence on how you are perceived. Build a reputation through action rather than talk.
  • Establish goals. Once you’ve finished a fact find, report back to your “stakeholders” who may be your team, colleagues or boss and outline your goals.

Month 3:

  • Match strategy to situation. If you find that the reality of the new organisation is not quite what you expected, you will need to take time out to realign your strategy to your new situation.
  • Secure early wins. Small successes will show those around you that you’re an effective employee or leader and that you get things done. Be careful to share credit for those wins with others. This will help you gain acceptance early.
  • Build alliances. Keep adding people from the organisation or industry to your personal “team”. That could be by finding people to learn from, mentor you, brainstorm with, or execute plans.

Finally, there are hundreds of books written about careers and management. Reading them can really help you move forward in your career. If you’re stepping up into your first leadership role, then consider reading The First 90 Days. The book is a roadmap of how to achieve at next level quickly.

More from this category: Workplace wellbeing

Top search terms

Want to know what people are searching for on SEEK? Explore our top search terms to stay across industry trends.
Select an industry to uncover the top search terms

Subscribe to Career Advice

Get expert career advice delivered to your inbox.
You can cancel emails at any time. By clicking ‘subscribe’ you agree to SEEK’s Privacy Statement.