How to Survive the First 3 Months at a New Job

November 19, 2016


Congratulations! Finding and landing a new job is not an easy task. All of your hard work has finally paid off and now you will be under a microscope for the next 90 days. Regardless of the position you are in, you will need to demonstrate that you are a star in order to make it pass probation.

As a Sales Manager, I am often asked by new hires for my tips and suggestions on how to climb the corporate ladder. In the nicest way possible, I gently remind them that making it past the first 3 months should be their main focus. There will be no promotion without surviving the probationary period.

Tips for Surviving a New Job:

1. Write Everything Down:

As a new hire, you must remember that every person involved in training you and getting you up to speed in your new role, is taking time out of their day and their work in order to help you. Be respectful of everyone’s time and write everything down. Even if it seems obvious, write it down. It will demonstrate that you are eager to learn and that you’re making an effort to remember their suggestions so that you don’t have to ask them again in the future.

2. When in Doubt, Google It:

Since you are new to the role, you won’t be expected to know everything. That wouldn’t be realistic. Feel free to ask technical questions about the products and company procedures. This will communicate that you’re being proactive and really putting in an effort to learn about your company.

Asking about how to edit a spreadsheet or how to look up a client in SalesForce will convey that you are lazy and unintelligent.

3. Create a 30, 60, 90 Day Plan:

Take it upon yourself to create a plan of how you will transition into your new role in the first 30, 60, and 90 days. Present the plan to your direct report on your first day and ask them for any suggestions they may have.

Make sure you refer to your plan every week to make sure you are staying on track and don’t fall behind. You can always add and edit your plan as you get more comfortable within the company and figure out what you need to focus on.

BONUS TIP: I especially love it when candidates come prepared with their 30, 60, 90 day plans during the interview. You’re pretty much guaranteed to get through to the next round with this document in hand.

4. Check in Regularly with Your Boss/Supervisor:

I measure my sales team’s performance based on their sales figures as well as their SalesForce activities. If you’re in a role that cannot be measured using metrics, keeping in regular touch with your boss or manager is especially important.

It frightens me when new hires don’t ask questions or give me updates on their prospects. 

Stay in touch with your boss so that they know what your plan is for the day/week, what projects or customers you’re working on, and what questions you may have about everything you’re learning. You want them to know that you value the position and that you’re doing whatever it takes in order to be the ideal employee for the role.

5. Create Relationships with Your Co-Workers:

Put in a sincere effort in trying to get to know everyone at the office. Don’t expect to find your new BFF, but having allies can make work so much more enjoyable. 

The friendlier you are, the more people will want to help you. Upper management always have eyes and ears everywhere. The last thing you want is for your boss to think that you are not a team player. 

Having people around who have your back is invaluable in an office environment.

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