Starting a new job can be nerve-wracking, but the first 90 days will really shape your journey. This will be the time of first impressions, new responsibilities, and getting to know the company. It is suggested that it takes 8 positive encounters to change a bad first impression – so it is vital to get it right the first time round.
Why 90 days? A recent US survey found that most new hires have less than 3 months to prove themselves, while 9% have less than a month. Therefore, to succeed and grow in your new company it is vital to make your first 90 days count. We’ve put together our 5 top tips to help you settle in smoothly and maximize your ability for success.
Prepare in advance
When it comes to beginning your new role, there is no such thing as being over-prepared. In fact, it is suggested that being prepared and feeling in control of your situation can help lower stress levels. As the first few days are stressful enough, it can be incredibly helpful to be already bought into the company mission and vision, and to know exactly who the key players are. Talk to your recruiter - they are there to help you and want you to succeed, so reach out and they will be able to answer your questions. Another simple way to get a feel for the company is to check out their social media platforms. Here you can see their values at play and understand the culture. Arriving prepped full of knowledge on your first day will be sure to impress, but also will help you to get stuck in straight away. You will not get a second chance to make a first impression, so make sure you do everything in your power for yours to stand out.
Your colleagues will help shape your journey when you start at a new company. In many businesses, activities at lunch or after work are a common occurrence. This could anything from playing football, bowling, drinks after work, or grabbing something to eat. In the first 90 days (and even beyond) try not to miss these opportunities, and instead get stuck in. This time is invaluable as not only will you be able to get to know your team on a more personal level, but they will also be able to get to know you. In a corporate setting it can be hard to get to know your colleagues, so take up these chances when you can and stand out.
Show some initiative
The first 90 days will presumably see you getting used to your new role and to the company. In many cases, businesses will “underwork” new starters while both the employer and new employee get used to the change. However, these 90 days are the perfect time to make your mark on the company and show the employer why they hired you. Show some initiative - don’t wait to just hand in tasks on time, turn your work over early. If you feel like you don’t have a lot to do – ask for more work. Show that you are a hard worker now and it will pay off in the future.
Try not to shy away from the things you find difficult. In your first three months you want to make a good impression, so you will tend to gravitate towards the parts of your job that you know you can do easily. However, do not ignore the parts of your role that you aren’t necessarily as good at. Your employer wants a well-rounded individual, so give them that and be transparent with what you might be struggling with. This will show your boss that you are willing to learn and will put the work in to improve your skills, making you a better employee.
Learn by listening
There is only so much research you can do into your new company. Some things you cannot discover until you step foot into your office and speak to people. Take your first 90 days to ask lots of questions about your role and the company. Taking in large amounts of information can be overwhelming, however, do not forget to actually listen! Studies have found that while between 70-80% of our time awake is spent communicating, we only spend 45% of that time listening. Making the effort to be a good listener will show a desire to learn and a clear interest in the company. Being knowledgeable and being able to recall this information will impress your boss and your colleagues – an ideal start in any company.
In your first week or so, use this time to re-confirm what you learnt from your recruiter and ask your boss “Who will I be working closely with in my role and who is it vital that I get to know?”. You’ll be working with these people on a regular basis, so it is important to build key relationships early. Invite these colleagues out for lunch or for a coffee and get to know what their roles really entail. It doesn’t need to be all work focused though, this will be the start of a professional and personal relationship so ask about them and who they really are. Your colleagues will help shape your journey at the company, so take the time to nurture these relationships.
Be kind to yourself
The final point to end on is, don’t be too hard on yourself. You are new to this role and to the company so undoubtedly you will make some mistakes. Remind yourself that it is okay to do so and that you are just adjusting. Try not to dwell on any mishaps and instead focus on what you have achieved. It’s early days, it’s natural to feel unsure of yourself – this will go with time. The longer you are there the more your confidence will grow, and your great work will shine through! Don’t forget that out of a pool of other candidates, your employer chose to hire you.