How to Make Your First 90 Days at a New Job a Success
Starting a brand-new contract position can make anyone a bundle of nerves. The first days and weeks can feel overwhelming with so many new processes to learn and new information to master. However, these early months on the job are the most important, as they communicate to your supervisors what your performance will look like going forward.
Experts say that impressing your manager and colleagues within the first 90 days is not only essential to success in your current role, but also for your overall career. A large amount of employee turnover happens in those first three months, so it is crucial to approach any new job with strategies that compel companies to keep you around. While it can be daunting, there are proven ways to make your first 90 days at a new job a success.
Even with temporary work, some preparation is important. Learning everything you can in advance limits your learning curve and helps you stand out if the company needs someone to stay beyond the initial contract.
Those temporary workers who go through a staffing firm are able to ask questions about the work environment, leadership, and most valuable skills before the position begins. If you have the advanced notice, it can be valuable to research the company online. Any company’s about us or careers page can be a goldmine for how they will measure exceptional work in any position. Really, gathering any information beforehand helps to ease the pressure of your first days and weeks.
Learn Quickly from Your Peers
The fastest way to adjust to a new job in the first 90 days is to mirror the people around you. Keen observation of your coworkers’ best practices (and even their bad habits) shapes your success going forward.
Making a personal connection with your coworkers early on (either way, they’ll form an opinion of you with just seven seconds of meeting you) is crucial. By developing bonds with your new coworkers, you encourage them to make suggestions about how you can improve and might even get them to vouch for you to the boss. From the start, always make a point to be personable, remember details about each person, and offer assistance when you can.
Even if you have friends at your new workplace or know your new boss, there needs to be a defined professionalism on the job. It can be far too easy to fall into attitudes that would be acceptable in a social setting, but toxic for the workplace.
Dress professionally, keep conversations appropriate, and stay positive. Also, make sure to avoid gossip or complaining to maintain a level of workplace seriousness.
A new job involves a new place, new people, and new tasks to complete. It would be odd if your first 90 days were question-free. Asking questions shows that you’re thinking constructively about your role and making an effort to do things the right way. Waiting six months to ask a question about an important responsibility or task looks bad, so don’t be shy when it comes to any uncertainties starting out.
Getting feedback early will stop you from falling into any unproductive habits. Ask yourself the “why” about every process you are involved in and if you don’t know the answer, ask your supervisor. Understanding where projects come from before you receive them and where they go when they leave your hands will make you successful in your new job.
You’ll be given plenty of information during your first 90 days in a new job, and staying organized makes retaining everything possible. Take notes along the way if necessary, or spend a couple minutes at the end of every work day writing down important things you learned. If you’re able to take a training manual home to study, take advantage of that opportunity to prove your dedication to your manager.
Go Above and Beyond
As you get deeper in your role, temporary workers who make the extra effort will begin to distinguish themselves from the pack. Continuously making a positive impression two or three months into a role contributes heavily to whether contracts are renewed or temps are transitioned into open positions elsewhere within the organization.
Volunteering for special projects as they arise or checking for extra ways to contribute proves you’re a team player. When managers see that level of initiative and drive, the output rarely goes unnoticed.
The First 90 Days at a New Job
Three months sounds like a long time, but it will fly by once you’re in the day-to-day activities of your new role. Treat this early period of time as an extension of the interview, and show you deserve the job that you were given. By setting a solid foundation in your first 90 days at a new job, you will ensure long-term success in the role and build up a reputation that can carry over into future contracts.