The First 90 Days – Part II

The first 90 days as a new manager can be stressful. Keep on reading to learn more tips for a successful first 3 months in your new management position.

Be Visible.

  • I used to think that if I kept my head down and did really good work, that’s all it would take to be successful in a job. Boy, was I wrong. Good work is still very important, don’t get me wrong. But it’s not 100% of the ingredients to getting off on the right foot in a company. One of the tips is to be visible. That means turning your camera on during Zoom or other virtual meetings. That means be fully engaged and present in an in-person meeting. It could mean asking an insightful and well-timed question or volunteering to participate in a new project or cross-functional team. Now, I’m not saying to overdo it and volunteer for everything. I’m saying to watch your visibility and don’t shrink back into the shadows at the office or virtually. Be present.

Challenge Yourself.

  • When you start at a new job, you’re going to have to hustle. In this season, you’re going to be busier, learning the new environment, the culture, your colleagues, building a relationship with your boss, taking on new assignments and tasks. Prepare yourself that you’re going to work more in this season. It’s okay. I have nothing against putting in more sweat equity right now because just like you’re evaluating your new job and work environment, your company and boss are evaluating you right now too. Be prepared to work for it. Push and challenge yourself.

Watch your limits.

  • You know I always say this. You teach people how to treat you. Definitely push yourself in a new job. It’s the time. However, don’t start in a new role and work 24/7. Make sure that you set some boundaries that will show people that you value your personal time and space as well. This is not about telling your new manager, “Well, I don’t work at 5:05 pm because my job description says I only work until 5:00 pm.” You will be short for that job if you say that or “that’s not in my job description”. Ohhh, I’m feeling irritated just thinking about these phrases because I’ve heard them from employees before. No, this is about not working at 11:00 pm at night and sending emails at all hours. Why? Because (1) this hopefully doesn’t fit the culture and (2) you don’t want to reinforce that you want your boss and colleagues to expect that you will work these hours, on holidays or on your vacation. Respect yourself and your time by setting appropriate work boundaries.

Now, if the culture requires that level of commitment, you may need to circle back and make sure this is a good fit for you. Do you want to work all hours of the day and night? Do you want to be always on or accessible? That is a big NO for me, but it may be perfectly ok for you and your situation. The great thing here is that you get to decide.

Set expectations.

  • At the end of the day, your boss is evaluating you on your initial performance in a new job. I would recommend asking to meet with your boss regularly – every 1-2 weeks depending on the nature of the job to make sure that you’re meeting the requirements of the role. I would also not be shy in asking your boss these questions:

After 90 days in this role, what would you like to see accomplished? What about 120 days? 180 days?

What is the biggest pain point you’re facing right now?

How can I help you and our team succeed?

These questions are going to show that you’re here as a team player. This isn’t the “you” show. You are here to help your boss, team and company succeed. While this may sound like corporate speak (and it is), it will help you pave the path to success.

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