Congratulations, you landed a new job! In today’s employment market, this is no easy feat and deserves a major celebration. Now, how do you make a great first impression and hit the ground running at your new gig? Here are 10 tips to make your first 90 days a success:
10 Tips When Starting A New Job
1. Practice your elevator pitch.
You’re likely to be asked, “Can you tell me about yourself?” more times than you can count when staring at a new company, so you’ll want to be ready with a compelling yet concise elevator pitch. Please know that your response to this question will be different than during your interview, so take time to practice briefly sharing your career story.
2. Listen more than you speak.
While it can be tempting to share a lot about yourself when starting a new role, you want to focus your attention on asking the right questions and learning about the company. The following are a few examples of the types of questions you can ask new colleagues to better get to know them and the business.
- What are the biggest concerns facing you and the organization?
- How can I be most helpful to you and your team?
- What other questions should I be asking you?
3. Pace yourself.
You’ll meet a lot of new people as you onboard in your new role. Rather than trying to meet everyone in your first few days, you might find it helpful to set a realistic key performance indicator (KPI) as to how many people you want to meet each week or month. This strategy, which I shared with Fortune, can make meeting dozens (or hundreds) of colleagues and stakeholders more achievable, as well as reduce the mental exhaustion that accompanies starting a new job. You can also apply this strategy of pacing yourself for other tasks and goals.
4. Under-promise, over-deliver.
Speaking of which, meeting new colleagues and stakeholders, learning the company and its history, and getting up to speed on your new employer’s processes and procedures will take significant time and mental bandwidth. Consequently, you’ll want to be mindful of how much you take on during your first 90 days. Consider making a habit early on at your new job of under-promising and over-delivering.
5. Develop an organization system.
Between meeting new people, learning new systems, and taking in new work processes, your first 90 days can quickly turn into information overload. You don’t want to rely on your memory to remember everything you need to know and do, so think about the type of system you want to develop to stay organized. If there’s an organization or project management system that worked for you at your last job, I recommend sticking with it, as you’ll already be experiencing a lot of newness in your first few months.
6. Achieve quick wins.
Your manager or company will likely have a new employee onboarding process. However, you can also identify quick wins, or low-hanging fruit, that will make a major impact and leave a great first impression. Importantly, you’ll want to socialize your ideas and get the buy-in of your boss, as well as any key stakeholders, before acting, since you don’t want to give the impression that you’re a lone wolf.
7. Identify mentors and sponsors.
You can’t achieve success alone, especially when starting a new job, so you’ll want to be intentional in identifying people who you might seek out as both mentors and sponsors. Mentors are people who can support and guide you, while sponsors can provide you with access to opportunities because of their seniority, reputation, and credibility. And don’t be afraid to look outside your immediate team and department for mentors and sponsors, since they can provide additional insights into your new company.
8. Prioritize self-care.
While it’s normal to put in a little extra time as you ramp up at a new job, you don’t want to set an expectation that you’re going to be putting in extra hours all the time. As such, I encourage my coaching clients to set start and end times for their days and communicate them early on. Moreover, you’ll want to calendar your breaks and self-care activities to avoid them getting scheduled over.
You need to own your calendar before it owns you.
9. Update your LinkedIn profile.
Part of your new job’s onboarding plan may include updating your LinkedIn profile with your new role. Although you might be tempted to share your exciting news as soon as you receive an offer letter, I recommend waiting until your probationary period is over, which is typically between three and six months, before updating your LinkedIn profile and announcing your new job on the platform.
10. Invest in The First 90 Days book.
Finally, you must expect the unexpected when starting a new job. That’s why I frequently recommend the book The First 90 Days, by Michael D. Watkins, as a resource to my career and executive coaching clients who are looking for a comprehensive resource to set them up for success. What I appreciate most about the book is that you can start with any chapter and dive deep into a topic area, rather than needing to read the whole thing from front to back. Additionally, each chapter concludes with a list of reflective questions to ensure you hit the ground running at your new job.
Conclusion: Tips For Starting A New Job
Starting a new job is exciting, but it also requires a thoughtful strategy to ensure you start out on the right foot. To summarize, here are 10 tips to make those first 90 days a success:
- Practice your elevator pitch.
- Listen more than you speak.
- Pace yourself.
- Under-promise, and over-deliver.
- Develop an organization system.
- Achieve quick wins.
- Identify mentors and sponsors.
- Prioritize self-care.
- Update your LinkedIn profile when appropriate.
- Invest in The First 90 Days
Which of these strategies will you adopt to set yourself up for success at your new job? You’ve got this!