The First 90 Days
By Carleen Wong, CPIM
Congratulations! You’ve finally landed the job you want. However,
your journey is just beginning; how you manage the first 90 days
in your new position can determine your path towards success or
mark the beginning of inevitable demise.
Just like you had strategies for getting a new job, you need
to have strategies for starting a new job. Good, well thought
out plans will provide the foundation for your success. Here are
some pointers for a smooth transition:
- Get to know the culture - Remember you are entering
a new company culture, and it can be very different from the
one you came from. It’s all about fitting in and letting go
of the nuances of the culture you came from. For example,
you may have come from an environment of 60 hour work weeks
and in your new company, the offices are empty by 5:30 pm.
You need to go with the flow. Take the time to listen, absorb
the new work environment, ask questions, and have an open
- Find out strategies and set goals - Sit down with
your boss and find out how your job fits in with the overall
mission and strategies of the company and department. Understand
the top goals for the position and what to focus on. Set reasonable
goals for the next 90 days. Try to “settle in” by breaking
them down into smaller, manageable steps.
- Identify your support network - Your first days on
the job should mainly be devoted to getting to know the people
who you rely upon and those who rely upon your position. Meet
them one-on-one; find out how they work and communicate, and
what’s important to them. Determine how you will continue
to interact with them on a regular basis. Gain their trust
and understand the information that will lead to teamwork
and mutual success.
- Be cautious - Be friendly, but not prematurely “best
of friends.” This will serve you well until you get a better
sense of who’s who. Be careful on making changes quickly.
A common mistake for newcomers is trying to make a change
that is less rooted in strategy than in a desire to make an
In the first days of your new position, your new colleagues will
form their image of you. Early on, the way you want to be seen
is within your control. It is o.k. to be a bit nervous and moderately
anxious; but by using these tips and showing your confidence,
you will have the edge for a successful first 90 days and beyond.