Opinion

5 top tips for making the most of your first 90 days in a new job

Research suggests that when you start a new job, it’s the first 90 days that can have a significant impact on your success in the role and organisation longer term.

You only have one opportunity, so it’s worth taking time to think about how you can use your first three months to make the best possible impression, and establish yourself in the job.

Your new boss and colleagues will be watching your initial decisions. So, whether you are joining a start-up, a blue chip company, a charity or a public sector organisation, what you do in your first quarter could be vital to your success.

Pure really cares about the people we place in jobs across the East of England, and we do what we can to support them to get the most from their new roles. So, we have drawn on our 15 years of experience to give you a few tips for your first 90 days…

1. Make a positive impression

Since your new colleagues have no basis on which to judge you, the impression you make could be fundamental to how people engage with you in the future. Start as you mean to continue: be professional and stay curious, be approachable and polite, and really pay attention to how things are done. In terms of getting to know colleagues, take interest in their roles and current projects, and get to know the dynamics between people and teams. This enables you to make your first conversations more personal, which helps build rapport.

2. Be patient

Although you are expected to deliver results eventually, you should be patient instead of rushing with ambitious goals. Since you will be developing your knowledge of the organisation’s industry, its customers, competitors, products, services and people, you simply cannot know it all from the start. If, initially, you are unable to answer certain questions or carry out more complex tasks, simply be honest, tactful and positive. When you have absorbed the necessary information, you will be in a stronger position to really start performing at your best.

3. Work with a career coach

Almost all of the most successful people we work with have benefitted from working with an experienced coach at some point in their career. Engaging the services of a Coach at the start of a new job, can have a huge impact in helping you make the best of your first 3 months with your new employer. They are a trusted third party who acts as a sounding board and can also help you shift perspective, so you can see the bigger picture. This helps you establish a focussed and purposeful approach to your new job. A coach can also help you avoid the pitfalls and increase your confidence, by providing an objective, yet compassionate ear, and trustworthy advice. It is worth working with a coach even before a new job starts, since this gives you time to build up a relationship with them and prepare for your first few days.

4. Establish team leadership

If you are a manager, take time to get to know your team as well as other senior colleagues. Begin your new role by building trust among your staff and listen closely to their experiences, ideas and opinions. Building relationships this way enables you to nurture a strong team spirit and establish yourself as a supportive leader from day one. Your team may also need reassurance, especially if they have gone through changes prior to your arrival. Also, trust gained in the early days will support a smoother transition when and if you want to make changes in the future.

5. Adapt to a new culture

You probably applied for your new job because you were attracted by the employer’s unique ethos. Since its culture will be new to you, use your first few weeks to absorb what goes on around you. For instance, look at how your organisation engages with its customers, its employees and the local community. Some of the behaviour could have strong roots in its history, so read up on that to gain a greater appreciation of its origins. Also, look at how new ideas are developed and implemented, and how the organisation communicates; it may use different vocabulary to your old workplace.

The first 90 days can be a challenging period, but our advice should help you settle in and make a positive impact. By giving yourself time to learn about your new organisation, the culture and colleagues, you are laying foundations for your professional success.