The first 90 days of any new job are super important.
You have done much hard work to get here.You’ve gone through a grueling job search process. You’ve gone through multiple interviews. You have negotiated a great offer and start date.
You’ve landed this job. Or maybe you moved into a new role in the same company. So now you are here. Ready to start on a new gig. These are your first 90 days.
Here’s why these early days are so important.
You have to establish credibility at your new job
One of the most important part of your new job is to make sure you’re establishing that credibility.
The organization that has just hired you. They have seen the potential inside of you. They know that you can get the job done. They know you want to make a mark.
But here’s what they need to see
- They need assurance that you are capable
- They need assurance that you are a cultural and organization fit
- They need assurance that you will be able to adapt
The above points were about the organization’s perspective.
From your perspective, here’s what you would be looking to do in the first 90 days
- Establish credibility around your capabilities
- Connect with colleagues and develop great working relationships
- Define your personal brand in the organization
As you work through your first days, make sure you create a connection with the people that you’re going to work with on a long term basis. When you step into a new role or a new job, most of the people around you have no idea what you’ve done before. This is a great opportunity for you to reestablish your personal brand so that you can actually show up as “the right person for this job” and cement your credibility which is so important.
4 Part Framework (ILPA)
Now let me share a way for you to establish your credibility, connections and personal brand in the first 90 days.
I call it ILPA, which is an acronym for Introduction, Learn, Plan, and Act.
1. I is for Introduction
The first component is I, which is introduction. Introduction is your narrative. It is similar to your elevator pitch, but this is really about your narrative.
What is your story? What is the story that you want to tell others as you’re introducing yourself at this new job? This is very similar to the elevator pitch we discussed in prior episode. This is about making sure that you have a narrative and a story that you can tell others.
2. L is for Learning
Learn is about learning about your role, your organization and your organization’s charter, structure, strategy etc.
Your main job in this ‘Learn’ phase is to listen intently.
After you’ve done your intro, listen and absorb.
Understanding the role
You have to understand the role in detail and know the real expectations of this role.
During the interviews, it may have been abundantly clear that this role comes with specific roles and responsibilities, but you have to double click into those and understand the expectations of this role. This is key because in the future you will have to manage those expectations 🙂
Understanding the organization
The other side of Learn component is to understand, what is your organization doing?
What is the organization’s business, what is the organization’s strategy? How do they approach their charter?
Take many notes and learn everything about the organization:
- Org structure
- Current processes and systems
- Current projects
- New Initiatives
Most importantly, know the people: key roles and people in those roles, who are the influencers, who are the right stakeholders.
It is essential to know the key individuals in the organization and establish great working relationships that will be so important for your work ahead.
3. P is for Planning
Second phase of this 90 plan is plan. Now that you’ve learned a little bit more about the organization, and you know the strategy and you know some of the current initiatives, it’s a great opportunity for you to start creating your plan.
Your own work plan about how you’re going to approach your job. What are the things that you are going to do in the near future about your job? As you look at this new role, you have to start to lay the foundations of what your work plan will be, let’s say, for the next three months, six months, 12 months, or even 18 months. This is a good area to establish some structure, some roles and responsibilities for this work plan that you are developing.
4. A is for Act
Then last, but not the least, is about act. It’s about execution. You’re no longer in the phase of just learning and knowing the people and knowing the plan, etc. You now have a draft of your work plan, and you started to execute on that.
This reason this is important is because you have to show that you’re not only a person who can engage with the org and create a work plan, but that you are also about getting involved in the action in the first 90 days.
ILAP: Introductions, Learn, Plan and Act
These steps may or may not be linear. They might overlap. And that’s ok. You don’t need to engineer this.
Roughly, it takes about a month for each step. If you look at a 30, 60, 90 day plan. It is not necessary to consume all 30 days for each of these steps, but in general, that’s a good metric.
- Socialize your plan: You have to start socializing your plan with your stakeholders, and also figure out how you want to work with them.
- Understand everyone’s work styles: it does take some time to understand each other’s work styles. You don’t need to rush those. You can start to put that into action based on your learning in the act area.
- Record your outside-in observations: Most of the time in a new role, you have a outside in experience. When you have that outside in view, which is so fresh in your mind because you’re coming in from the outside or you’re coming into this new role, not knowing the lay of the land, etc., make all the notes you can about your observations, about this new area. These observations will be critical for you as you develop into this new role or this new job. I would highly recommend keeping those notes for a long time and continue to have a more outside in experience as you transition into this new job.
- Tell your story: have a great narrative as you introduce yourself to make an impression. You don’t need to go overboard but be confident and friendly.
It is a framework for you to use. Feel free to contextualize and customize it for your new role.
What do you think of this framework? What would you add to it?