How to Succeed in the First 90 Days

April 14, 2010

I know several people who will be starting new jobs this month. As the economy improves, I’m hoping the same good fortune awaits a couple dozen of my other professional contacts who are currently between jobs.

Starting off on the right foot is essential for ongoing career success. When I began my current job in 2006, I bought and read an invaluable book called The First 90 Days by Michael Watkins. Anyone making a fresh start would be well-advised to buy his or her own copy of the book and study it.

The book lists 10 things you should accomplish during the first three months in your new job. Within the book each step is discussed in detail, but for your convenience I’ve summarized those steps here:

  1. Promote yourself. Mentally break away from the mindset of your old job and think of your new one as a promotion that will require new ways of achieving success.
  2. Accelerate your learning. The learning curve may be steep. There will be so much to learn in your new environment, so do everything you can to quickly absorb what you need to know.
  3. Match strategy to the situation. Diagnose the business situation accurately and then quickly develop a customized plan of action.
  4. Secure early wins. You need a few early successes to build credibility and to create momentum. Early on, identify ways to create value. Read the rest of this entry »

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