The First 90 Days: Secrets to Succeeding at a New Job

Jane Bianchi
Posted

career new jobAs the saying goes, change is the only constant in life—and in your career too. (Well, we added the last part.)

But the truth is that you may experience all sorts of workplace change when you get a promotion, land a new gig at a different company, and even when your own organization downsizes or merges with another one.

“I view all of those as transitions,” says Michael D. Watkins, co-founder of leadership development company Genesis Advisers and author of “The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter.”

And when you’re in transition, your role is likely to shift too—whether it means tackling new job responsibilities, working in a different environment or reporting to a new boss. Sometimes it can even be all of the above!

Regardless of your particular situation, it’s a crucial time. In fact, Watkins argues that impressing your manager and colleagues within the first 90 days is not only essential to your success in your current role but also for your overall career.

No pressure, right?

Fortunately, it’s not as difficult as it sounds—if you know how to make the right impression by following these tips from Watkins.

LearnVest: Why are the first 90 days on the job so important?

Michael D. Watkins: Lots of my research shows that what you do early on during a job transition is what matters most. Your colleagues and your boss form opinions about you based on limited information, and those opinions are sticky—it’s hard to change their minds. So shape their impressions of you to the best of your ability.

Why 90 days, specifically? It’s a quarter, which is a recognized time frame in the business world. Companies often track how they’re doing based on how much progress they make each quarter—and you should too.

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