Design Your First 100 Days at Work


14 Jun
14Jun

You just started a new job, and you are ready to knock down walls, get stuff done, and make an impact. That is a great instinct because when you are starting a new gig, the first 100 days are crucial. This is your chance to prove yourself and show off your skills. But before you get started doing anything, you need to take some time to set a solid foundation, build relationships, and gain an in-depth understanding of your new environment. Whether you are an employee or the President of the United States, your execution of the first 100 days in a new role is critical to your long-term success.  In this blog post, we will break down some best practices for developing an action plan for a successful transition during your first 100 days on the job. 

Begin before you begin.

Beginning a new job creates internal tension for most of us. Every worker wants to bring their best selves to a new role and prove that they have what it takes to succeed. That desire can lead us into some detrimental habits. Before you begin a new position, there are two internal best practices that can help you to hit the ground running when you finally arrive on the job.  

First, talk to the people in your home life- family and friends, and recruit their cooperation and help during your first 100 days in your new position. This gives you the time and space to set your focus on getting up to speed quickly. 

Second, take the time to reflect on your own strengths and weaknesses before starting the position.  Conduct a full blown SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis of your abilities and habits and go into your new role with your eyes open about what to engage in and what to avoid. 

Open the lines of communication and start building relationships.

As soon as possible after you start work, have an in-depth conversation with your boss about their expectations, and set up a schedule for consistent communication.  Set up weekly (or more often) check-ins with your boss to go over what you have done, what you are working on, and where you need help or more information.  While you are in the mode of communication, begin building relationships with your colleagues, team members and clients. Make it a priority to meet as many folks as possible in your first 30 days and keep a log of the stakeholders in your organization. 

Seek to understand.

One of the best pieces of advice I ever received about starting a new position was “act quickly, but first, see clearly.” My mentor continually worked to remind me that my first 30 days was more about observation and learning than anything else. It is so easy to bring your past experience into a new position, especially if it seems that your last company was more successful than your new one. Take some time to understand the business, the internal politics, and the policies and procedures before making quick judgments about your new organization. 

Determine your “three rocks.”

As you observe, determine where you are going to focus your attention for the first 100 days. Your “three rocks” are where you will focus 60% of your efforts, the rest- all the small daily tasks you do- is the “sand” around the rocks. 

Develop your 30-60-90 Day Plan.

Write down your 30-60-90 Day Plan. There are some excellent templates online to help you structure this. You can use a Trello board, or this great downloadable template from Muse. Getting it down on paper will help you clearly articulate your objectives and key results as well as help you determine your priorities and how best to reach your goals.

Make sure to keep your manager and team in the loop about your plan and allow them to assist you in determining actionable and realistic goals. Having a clearly thought out 100-day plan will help you hit the ground running and set you up for success in the long run. It may seem like a lot of work up front to get organized but articulating a well thought out action plan for yourself and for the organization you are leading will not only make an incredible first impression but will build a firm foundation for achieving your goals in the future. 

At Deep End Talent Strategies, we can help you write a 30-60-90-day plan for yourself or your new hires. Contact us at info@deependstrategies.com.

19Jan