You’ve done it! After all that hard work, you’ve landed a new job. Congratulations! But… now what? All that effort and anticipation, and are you to now just go with the flow? Not to worry, because we’ve come up with the ultimate guide to acing the first 60 days at your new job!
The first 60 days at a new job are a crucial period. People’s initial opinions are sticky, as are the habits you build. We often make the mistake of either putting too much pressure on these first few weeks – taking on too much to learn and do, at once – or waiting for things to fall into place on their own.
While it is easy to dismiss the initial days at your new job as an awkward transitional phase that will be forgotten, it is often this period that lays the foundation for the rest of our duration at the job, and is remembered most vividly. Whether we recall the initial days of our job with regret or satisfaction is up to us!
Here’s a guide we recommend you follow for the first 60 days of your new job. Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to cover all your bases at once.
To make things easier, we’ve broken down the 60 day plan into 4 quarters, with a few key things you need to focus on accomplishing by the end of every 15 days. So, let’s get to work!
A Guide To The First 15 Days At Your New Job
Introduce yourself relentlessly
When you’re in a new environment, filled with strangers, it can be anxiety-inducing to call attention to yourself. But making yourself as visible as possible, as quickly as possible, is a key first step to getting people to welcome you, start thinking of you as one of them, and feeling a sense of belonging yourself.
Pay attention to when it might be a good time to introduce yourself – don’t simply interrupt conversations or meetings. Prepare an introduction beforehand, but you don’t always have to restrict yourself to the script. Gauge how receptive or busy the other person seems, and attempt to ask follow-up questions, accordingly.
Continue to introduce yourself to anyone you haven’t interacted with yet, over the course of the first two weeks. And make a concentrated effort to remember everyone’s name!
If you’re working remotely, go out of your way to message your colleagues – with your name, an introduction, and interest in knowing who they are. Keep your camera on as much as possible during virtual meetings, to increase your visibility and recall value.
Ask questions, not just with the intention to impress your managers and co-workers, but with a genuine interest in getting up to speed as quickly as possible.
Don’t overwhelm one person with your questions. Prioritise the information you need. Write down questions, if you can’t ask them at that particular moment. Ask subject-matter experts from different teams the different questions you have.
Ask your manager if you can get a “buddy”. A buddy is your go to person for the first month of your job – someone you can go to for any and all questions.
Get the lay of the land (or screen)
Allow yourself time in the first two weeks, to simply get accustomed to how, where, and when things happen at the organisation. If you have to physically be at the office, learn to navigate the workplace like a pro. The restrooms, printers, cafeteria, the cabins of important people, stairs, and all the other amenities the organisation has to offer.
Ask a coworker to help you out with a tour when they’re free, if the organisation doesn’t give you one. This is a great way to break the ice with the people you sit next to.
If working remotely, make sure you know how to navigate the communication tools the organisation uses (like Slack), the video call platforms, and any other organisational tools they may use like Asana, by the end of the first two weeks. Resolve any tech issues or doubts you may have.
Get a feel of what your role is
While the offer letter may have specified your job profile on paper, get a feel of what exactly is needed from you on the job. Reflect on how you can contribute to what is expected of you- more than what is expected in some areas, and maybe less in others.
If you have a hard time understanding your role, ask a colleague if you can shadow them. This means that you spend a day or two sitting near them, or being on a video call with them, seeing what they are up to.
Bonus tasks to do in the first 15 days – This can be a particularly stress-inducing time, so engage in calming activities like meditation outside of your work hours.
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A Guide To The First 30 Days At Your New Job
Get comfortable with your work
Now that you’ve gotten an idea of what your role in the organisation is, commit to it. Focus your attention on getting comfortable with your work, rather than putting pressure on yourself to excel at it.
Get comfortable with the idea of waking up every day to engage in the work you have to do. Understand the ins and outs of your work, research tools that aid it, and maybe even join online courses to develop your knowledge in your field.
Keep a tracker with all your tasks and achievements
This will ensure that both you, and the organisation, can see what value you are adding. When you’re fresh in a company, you can think of new things that others working there might be missing. Keep a list of all your ideas and proposals.
Get a sense of what your manager prefers
Take the first month at your job to truly understand not only what your manager expects out of you, but also what they are looking for in terms of good work. Pay attention to how they respond to your work in different instances. Try to get feedback from them even when they don’t provide it. Ask your colleagues for tips on what the manager’s preferences are.
Pleasing your manager should definitely not be your ultimate goal at the job, but is definitely key to ensuring your growth and good morale at work.
Bonus task to do during the first 30 days – Go out of your way to initiate conversations beyond work with co-workers. Having allies – or even better, friends – at work, is helpful, so start trying to form those meaningful connections right from the start. Talk to even those people who are not in your function. This will help you connect dots and make sure you don’t get into a silo of your own making.
A Guide To The First 45 Days At Your New Job
Set a definitive routine at work
Now that you’ve become a pro at navigating the workplace, and are comfortable with the work you do, it’s time to set a healthy work routine to follow!
Like we mentioned earlier, the habits you start with tend to stick, so cultivate good ones from the beginning!
Have a sleep schedule that allows you to wake up with enough time to have a calm and happy morning, instead of immediately having to rush off to work. Time your breaks during work hours in a way that helps you be most productive. Ensure you finish your work at a reasonable hour. Most importantly, plan a work routine that ensures you have a life and identity beyond work!
Take up challenges
Slowly but surely, start stepping out of your comfort zone.
Volunteer for projects you wouldn’t otherwise do. Accept tasks that you haven’t done before. Challenge yourself to experiment with your skills.
This is a great time to dabble in whatever opportunity you are presented with, and expand your bubble of comfort. Not only will this impress your managers, it will help you understand what your long-term role in the organisation could be.
If the task isn’t your cup of tea, it isn’t too late in the day to back out and stick with what you are comfortable with. However, you never know, you might just find something that you’re really good at, or passionate about, as well!
Bonus task during the first 45 days – Connect with friends or old colleagues you might not have spoken to much during your first month at the new job. This will help you feel more grounded, and help you retain an identity outside of work.
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A Guide To The First 60 Days At Your New Job
Start setting work goals
This is a great time to start setting goals for the milestones you want to achieve in the long run at your job. Reflect on what you hope to have learned or accomplished by the end of every 2 months.
Make a note of what your goals at the new organisation are. Think about how these goals will contribute to your larger career goals.
Set personal Key Performance Indicators for yourself to have a comprehensive map of your goals.
When you’re new and still experimenting with how you fit in the workplace, it can be easy to feel like you need to say yes to everything in order to prove yourself.
You don’t need to be a veteran member of the organisation to be able to set healthy boundaries for yourself. If more work is being delegated to you than you can handle, or you’re regularly being asked to work longer hours, it is okay to politely but firmly set boundaries.
Say no. Even a new job does not get priority over your mental and physical wellbeing.
Set up a 2-month review
While some organisations have a three-month review, show initiative and ask for a 2-month check-in with your managers. This could even just be an informal talk.
This is a simple but important way to make sure you both are on the same page. Update them on what you have done till now – this will increase your visibility. Show them what your plan is for the next few months, and cross-check if it aligns with the organisation’s plans. Ask them for feedback on your performance till date.
The best part is, if there is any criticism, you can take it into consideration and re-work your strategies and goals before a formal organisational performance appraisal.
Bonus task during the first 60 days – Be gentle with yourself. This is an unpredictable period. If you haven’t mastered everything you planned to in the first 60 days, it’s completely alright! Focus on what you have managed to accomplish, and give yourself more time to achieve the rest of your goals!
So, there you have it! A map to navigating and nailing your first 60 days at a job! Try it for yourself, and let us know if it helps turn your new job and unfamiliar workplace, into a thriving work environment and successful career. Happy working!
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