How to Ace Your New Job In the First 90 Days
SoFi’s newest series, Guide to Adulting, covers all things money, career, and relationships, and how to win at each. Excelling at all three isn’t easy, but with a little guidance, you’ll be well on your way. Whether you’re starting your first job or ascending to a new role, we’ll act as a mentor in your pocket to help you advance in your career.
We pick up from last month (where we discussed how to transform your networking approach), with tips on how to navigate your first 90 days at a new job, establish rock-solid relationships with co-workers, and catapult yourself to success as the newest team member.
Congrats, you’ve just taken on the next step (and challenge) in your career! Starting now, it’s important to make sure that everything from learning your new role to creating new relationships feels aligned. The truth is, this is a critical time in your new job, and you’ve got a short window to get up to speed and make a good impression on your co-workers and leadership team. Fortunately, though, you can position yourself for career success in just the first 90 days. Here are 4 tips to consider as part of your transition.
1. Understand what’s required of you. You were hired because the company thinks you’re a great fit. So, from day one, you’ll want to knock it out of the park by doing what’s expected of you, and doing it well. Hopefully, part of your on-boarding is sitting down with your manager. If it’s not, request a meeting to communicate your expectations around the role, get his or her view to make sure you’re on the same page, and to establish how often you’ll meet to get updates and provide feedback. You can also use this opportunity as a base to manage up in the future. With intel in hand, you’ll be able to assess the strengths and challenges your manager has, and learn his or her preferred work style.
2. Master the art of the introduction. Once you’ve aligned with your boss, it’s time to forge new friendships and alliances with co-workers up, down, and across the ladder. When in the break room, introduce yourself to others and mention your new role. Once you settle into a conversation, share something personal —but not too personal!— and ask questions that won’t be considered nosey, such as What brought you to the company? How was your weekend?or What’s the best lunch spot nearby? Being friendly will not only make your transition a lot easier, but can also help build a foundation for future teamwork, and more. Your company is chock full of potential mentors, who can provide guidance, and become sponsors — those senior-level executives with the clout to advocate for you when development or promotion opportunities arise. But remember: don’t stick to only meeting the executives. Be kind and try and get to know everyone. You never know who will be able to give you the practical advice needed to help you get ahead.
3. Be an active listener. Sure, your manager and teammates will want to hear your brilliant ideas, but be patient and observant vs. brash and loud. It takes time to fully understand the lay of the land, and forming an opinion before you’ve grasped all you need to can backfire. So take the first few days to listen and ask questions. You’ll know when the time is right to meet with team members to discuss your ideas. Once that happens, be open to their feedback, because constructive criticism is invaluable to your career growth.
4. Go the extra mile. Anyone can do the least that they can do, but you’re not just anyone. Diligence and hard work will help you get noticed. Focus on getting up to speed as quickly as you can in the beginning, even if it means giving up some of your nights and weekends to do so. With that extra effort in the beginning, you may be able to get started on truly adding value earlier rather than later and establish yourself as someone who has learning agility.
5. Aim for small wins. Once you learn how and when to contribute, start adding value in bite-size pieces. Volunteer for projects to show that you’re a team player. If you’re a whiz at problem-solving and organization, offer your expertise the next time a teammate hits a bump in those areas. But be mindful of coming on too strong or taking on too much too soon. Being successful in the first 90 days is not just about doing great work and building relationships, but also about developing the soft skills that will fuel your career growth in the long term.
SoFi’s Career Team can provide even more insight into how you can strive for professional success. Sign up today for individualized career planning, personal brand building, and job search assistance.