10 Ways to Make the Most of Your First Days on the Job [Ask Away]
This week’s question:A new hire’s first 90 days on the job can make or break their experience with their employer. Given this fact, what do you recommend all new hires do during their first 90 days in order to get off to the best possible start? What are the one or two most important things a new hire can do?
“Every hire should hit the ground running as soon as he/she begins a new job. Ask for more work or start a new project to benefit the company at some point before [the end of] your 90 days. It is a great way to show your willingness to take the initiative.”
- Patrice Rice
CEO and Founder
Patrice & Associates
“It’s all about establishing a ‘North Star’ for new hires to follow in the first 90 days. In the first 3 months, new hires should ask what their specific goals are and what they need to do to be successful. They need to know what to aim for so they don’t feel lost. Asking questions is the most important thing to do — if you don’t, you’ll be dead in the water.”
- Eric Siu
“My only thing is for new hires not to overcommit and overextend themselves in the first 90 days. Take the time to learn the ins and outs of the business, the people, the idiosyncrasies, and the preferences. Soak up as much as you can during this time, because once you get moving on the daily work, it’s hard to stop because ‘it’s too much.
“Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Yes, you were hired to do the job, but you don’t know everything. You’re not psychic or omnipotent. A question about even the most basic things is better than [being silent] and getting everything wrong.”
- André Ledgister
“To show your progress and position yourself for future advancement, [write] a short note to your boss at the end of each week, just keeping them apprised of everything you did during that week. Come evaluation time, the boss may well use those notes to help write the evaluation. At the very least, you’ll have all the ammunition when it’s time to talk about that first raise or promotion.”
- Barry Maher
Speaker and Author
“Try to participate in some non-work-related activities. Is there a group volunteering at a community center or going bowling after work? You don’t have to do everything, but try to do something that shows your support — particularly if your boss or a company exec is behind the activity.”
- Joseph Terach
CEO and Founder
“Discover how your role is actually measured, quantitatively. Every job has metrics — learn what yours are. Track them and discuss them with your boss at least once every 90 days.”
- Patrick Mulvey
Center for Strategy Execution, Inc.
“Beware of buyer’s remorse: you join a company and discover immediately that it is not as rosy a picture as you envisioned. Don’t complain and don’t make any impulsive decisions. All companies are flawed, and that is especially true in this still-challenging market. You need time to determine if the problems are simply due to an unfamiliar environment or are much bigger in scale. When you complain, you risk being viewed as weak, naive, a quitter, or in need of too much hand-holding.”
- Roy Cohen
Career Counselor and Executive Coach
“New hires — specifically younger or millennial employees — should connect with current team members and higher-ups to see what projects they might be able to observe, assist, or even help manage during their first 90 days with the company. Being included as part of the team not only shows that the new hire can take initiative, but that they are interested in learning what the company is working on in an effort to work more successfully during their career. It is imperative that the new hire be genuinely interested in making this effort to ensure they do not look uncomfortable or seem unaccessible to other employees.
“While you don’t want to push a new hire into an uncomfortable situation, they should be willing and able to put themselves out there and prove they are a benefit to the team and the company as a whole. Team collaboration is a building block for almost every career across multiple industries, and because of this, it is crucial that a new hire sets the stage during their first 90 days for how they will be able to work in a professional environment for years to come.”
- Heidi Parsont
“Success starts with planned performance reviews. Good habits start early! Talk to your manager about the best way to start an ongoing, two-way dialogue about expectations, performance, and development by conducting performance reviews 30, 60, and 90 days after your start date. By doing this, you will receive early direction, feedback, coaching, and development — all of which you’ll need to succeed and become a high performer in your new role.”
- Dominique Jones
Vice President of Human Resources
“Take advantage of all available training resources in the company. Some companies offer video or online training on the intranet or via a learning management system. Pay particular attention to product- and service-related information vis-a-vis what the company sells. If demo units of the company’s products are available, find out if you can take one home to try out.”
- Derek Handova
Senior B2B Content Marketing Writer for a Wireless Networking Company
Ask Away is Recruiter.com’s weekly column. Every week, we pose an employment-related question to a group of experts and share their answers. Have a question you’d like to ask the experts? Leave it in the comments, and you might just see it in next week’s Ask Away!