Your First 90 Days on the Job are the Most Important. Here’s Why.

Congratulations. Out of the 200ish resumes received for the average job in the U.S., you were the one who made the cut. But just because you’ve signed the paper does not mean the deal is done. Now you have 90 days to prove that you can bring it.

The first 90 days on the job are crucial. Most companies have a 90 day evaluation period in order to make sure the fit is good. This doesn’t mean you have to become the company’s No. 1 Salesperson in 90 days; this period is a chance for you to be a learner and to demonstrate that you can have an impact on the company.

As the 90 day evaluation period becomes more standard, a lot of companies have support systems to help new employees thrive. But you can’t rely on that alone. Here’s what to do (and what not to do) in order to go above and beyond in your first 90 days on the job.

Set clear goals.

It’s important to know what success looks like for the first 90 days on the job, so say yes to setting goals. It seems basic, but setting (and keeping) goals can get put on the back-burner during the whirlwind of starting a new job. Set goals that are achievable and make a 90-day plan on how to tackle them. Pro-tip: the SMART framework is a great way to outline actionable goals. Read more on how to use it here.

Be a “go to” person.

Take initiative and go above and beyond to support your new team. Prove that you’re a team player by saying yes to tasks that come your way, no matter how small they might be. Pro tip: be the person who makes the coffee in the morning. Even if you don’t drink coffee.

Be accountable.

If you say you’re going to do something, you need to do it. It’s always a better bet to over perform instead of over promise. You want to build a reputation for being accountable. Pro-tip: Use a Kanban board or apps like Asana or Trello to keep track of your tasks and make sure you’re finishing them.

Connect.

The first 90 days is your opportunity to build relationships. So, say yes to coffee. Say yes to lunch. Does your boss need help over the weekend or late at night? Say yes.

Say “No.”

While you’re building relationships with your new co-workers, be professional. Don’t add them as friends on Facebook right away. Stay out of office drama and don’t write on social media about your co-workers or the company.

Ask questions.

Always challenge your assumptions and reach out to your more seasoned peers when you have questions. Remember, it’s OK to be a learner. You are a learner. So ask all the seemingly dumb questions that need answering while you’re still new on the job. After 90 days, your “dumb” questions won’t be as cute. Pro-tip: if you have a lot of questions, write them down and ask a co-worker to help you answer them. By asking them all at once, you can take up less of their time.

Treat feedback like a gift.

Say yes to feedback whenever you can and treat it like a birthday gift. Feedback will give you a sense of how you’re doing, and will show that you care about your performance and are committed to growing in your role.

And finally, just be your best self.

You got the job for a reason. You can do this.

Michaela Gianotti serves as Koru's content specialist around job seeker and candidate experience advice. She attended Whitman College, where she spent the better part of four years convincing her family that English majors can get jobs too. She has since found awesome work (SEE!) at 826 Seattle, msnNOW, and Koru.

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