Good Start: Make Your First 90 Days on the Job Count

By CareerBliss

October 18, 2011

This article was contributed by, a career community dedicated to helping people find happiness in the workplace.

It’s taken a lot of work to get to this point: networking, sending out resumes, interviews, negotiations and, finally, accepting a job offer. At this point, it’s a good idea to take a deep breath … because there’s a lot more work ahead.

The first 90 days at a new job is a time to learn all you can about your new employer, co-workers and position. And it’s an opportunity to lay a strong foundation on which to build your future at the company. While exciting, it can be an intimidating and stressful time. But preparation and a good game plan can reduce the stress and help you make the most of your first 90 days on the job.

Get Yourself Ready

You researched the company to prepare for your interview … right? Now that you have a start date, it’s time to delve even deeper. Learn all you can about your new employer and the competition. Start thinking of ideas so you can hit the ground running once you start. You want your new boss and co-workers to feel like you belong there, that you deserve to be there, and that you have something to bring to the table. And the more you know about your new company and job, the more confident you will feel.

While preparing to start a new job, don’t forget about yourself. If you’re currently employed, hopefully you’ll give yourself at least a week between leaving the old job and starting the new one. If you’re unemployed or have been on a career break, it’s time to switch from the job search mentality and get ready to go back to work. In addition to your research, you should prepare yourself physically and mentally for the challenges that lie ahead.  Get good sleep. Eat right. Exercise. Take care of chores and other things that you might not be able to get to for a while once the new job starts. Get yourself on a schedule that resembles what your new work schedule will be. And make sure to have a little fun, too.

 Get Up to Speed

And it’s here – your first day on the job. Now the learning really begins. Through your research, you have a pretty good idea about what your new company looks like from the outside. Now is the time to observe what it’s like on the inside. During your initial days and weeks, meet all the people you’ll be working with regularly (but also branch out and meet other people in the company). Ask them about what they do and how you will work together. Find an insider to show you the ropes. Get a grasp on the various workflows, procedures and protocols. Remember: This isn’t a time to try to make drastic changes in the status quo; it’s a time to learn how things currently get done.

Also during this time, become a student of the company’s culture – how do people dress, how do they communicate, is there a strict hierarchy, when do people go to lunch? Do your best to get a feel for all the unofficial polices at your new workplace.

Full Steam Ahead

Do your best to quickly get your bearings, and then start working. Hard. While you will still have a lot to learn, try to start achieving tangible results right off the bat. Arrive to work five or 10 minutes early. And don’t rush out of the office right at 5; hang back for a few minutes to avoid the appearance that you’re just waiting out the clock.

Unless you arranged for it as part of your initial employment agreement, don’t ask for time off. If there is an emergency or illness that forces you to miss work during those first 90 days, make sure you do a good job communicating the reason to your boss and co-workers.

Stay Positive

Starting a new job – even when it’s a good move – can be a stressful undertaking. You will have plenty to learn, and you may not always feel like you’re performing at the level you’d like. It’s crucial to maintain a good attitude during this time. Don’t get discouraged. As the days and weeks pass, you’ll settle into your new job, gain workplace respect, and start to feel like you belong.

CareerBliss is an online career community designed to help everyone find happiness in the workplace. An information hub for everyone who works, employers, job seekers and recruiters, CareerBliss offers the ability to find out what makes them happy and the ability to seek that out in other jobs or improve it.

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