How to Stand Out at Your New Job

Creating a 90-day plan for your new position is a great way to set yourself up for success.

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Your job-search efforts have finally paid off! You’ve landed a new job, and you couldn’t be happier. But you realize the work doesn’t end there. Now you need to plan for your first few months at your new position. You want to show your new employer that you have a clear direction and take your job seriously.

Creating a 90-day plan is a good way to ensure a positive review from your supervisor during the first three months on the job. It’s also vital to keeping your job for a longer period of time, as many employers use the first few months as a probationary period for new employees.

How can you determine what to include in your plan? Learn more about the position and organization by doing the following:

Look at the information given to you during the hiring process. These documents and notes should describe the key tasks and objectives of the position. Compare this information with the job description to determine at least three key objectives to include in your 90-day plan.

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Meet with your boss to determine projects and tasks. She likely already has several important assignments for you to get started on. Take careful notes about each task and ask any questions that come to mind during the meeting to show you’re thinking critically about each assignment. Determine proper deadlines and how the project will be deemed successful.

Also, ask about the organization’s formal review process. If there isn’t one, suggest meeting in the next few months to get feedback on your performance.

Sit down with other members of the team. Get to know the people you’ll be collaborating with on a regular basis. If their role is similar to yours, ask them what challenges they’ve faced in their job and how you can minimize those challenges. Ask them how your role supports theirs (and vice versa) and what they expect of you on a regular basis.

Learn as much as possible about the organization. Read through company biographies, past annual reports, news stories, and press releases to learn as much as you can during the first three months on the job. This will help you better understand the culture, history, and structure of the organization. It can also aid in creating a comprehensive and impressive 90-day plan.

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Keep in mind the “bigger picture.” Although the plan you’re creating is focused on your first 90 days, it might make sense to extend it beyond the first few months once you’ve accomplished key tasks. During your research and in-person meetings with your manager, think about what you’d also like to accomplish during the first six months or year at this new position.

Creating a 90-day plan can help keep you focused on accomplishing big things at your new job. Your supervisor will certainly be impressed by your initiative and drive—and your co-workers likely will be, too.

What else should job seekers include in a 90-day plan?

Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing consultancy for organizations with products that target job seekers and employers. She is also the author of #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010) and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.


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