Navigating Your First 90 Days on the Job

It’s no stretch to say that your first 90 days on the job are critical. However, what matters isn’t the magnitude of your accomplishments. It’s the impression that you leave as you achieve your accomplishments. To leave a positive and lasting impression, there are a few deliberate steps you need to take as you are starting your new job.

Make an Unbreakable First Impression

First impressions last. When beginning a new job, you have the most power over how you’re perceived. By the time your third month rolls around, most impressions of you will be solidly set. That’s why it’s important to get as close to a flawless reputation as possible.

Guy Kawasaki, marketing iconoclast, recommends avoiding four personality traits – Laziness, Arrogance, Stupidity, and Tackiness – when starting at a new job. To avoid any of these labels, make sure you’re doing the following:

  • Arriving early, putting in your full hours, and finishing projects on time.
  • Making recommendations based on thorough research and extensive on-the-job experience.
  • Following procedures closely and making informed decisions.
  • Keeping things appropriate at the office and at work functions and making your coworkers feel accepted.

Accept Challenges Early

It may be tempting to ease into your first job like you would the comfortable waters of a hot tub, but you won’t make a memorable splash if you do. What gets remembered is the kid who cannonballs into the deep end of a public pool. Though the depth is beyond his or her comfort zone, that person learns more and achieves more while fighting to stay afloat.

That’s exactly how your first 90 days on job should be. When you boldly accept projects that stretch you beyond your core talents, you challenge yourself to come up with a solution. In the process, you accelerate the time it takes to make new connections and learn vital techniques. Then, what was once foreign becomes second nature and your growth takes on a life of its own.

Learn as Much as You Can

At the beginning of most jobs, there is an acceptable margin of error for any employee. That’s especially true for recent graduates. Though this isn’t a free pass to make all kinds of mistakes, it means you’ll be given a bit more lenience for one of two reasons:

  • You made a mistake that would have required real-world experience to catch.
  • You made a mistake involving internal procedures.

But with that leniency is the expectation that you will be driven to keep your mistakes from repeating. So, make sure to do some of the following when starting a new job:

  • Partner up with an experienced member of the team. His or her knowledge can boost your own.
  • Take detailed notes and review them frequently.
  • Get feedback on your processes and find out ways you can improve your work.

Doing all of these things can help you to absorb valuable information right from the start. That way, you can quickly kick off your training wheels without fear of falling and skinning up your knee.

Keep a Brag File

With the end of your first 90 days comes employee evaluations and a chance to get some honest feedback. In the same window, you also have a chance to highlight your best achievements. That’s where a brag folder can come in handy.

A brag folder is a folder in your inbox where you can drag any emails that highlight your achievements. Whether they’re from gushing clients or complimentary coworkers, you can use these messages as a reminder of your best work when you need them. That way, you can go into your employee evaluation prepared and continue to impress your new employers.

Guide Your First 90 Days on the Job

At IDR, we provide close guidance and direction as our new employees are starting their new jobs. If you want to join a company that is invested in you, contact us today. We are always looking for dependable, resourceful professionals who can get the job done.