The first 90 days are crucial for anyone starting a new job, but the stakes feel higher for a career changer who is eager to get off to a strong start in a new field. You’ve worked hard to get here and you’re excited to jump right in, no doubt—yet, before you can reach the satisfying peak, you have to claw your way up through a landslide of information, sort through intricate workplace dynamics, and discover the new “you.”
Why are the first “90” days so important? Well, according to Jobvite’s annual survey, 1 in 3 workers quit within the first 90 days of accepting a job offer. Most often, company leadership, culture, or duties differ from employee expectations. Perhaps there’s a change in the role’s responsibilities or flexibility. Sometimes better pay is offered elsewhere or a negative incident leads new employees to promptly quit.
In a perfect world, every company would invest heavily in a well-planned onboarding program that gives new tech employees all they need to thrive. The reality is that, oftentimes, you’re on your own—sink or swim!
The first tech job you land out of boot camp may not be your forever home, but you can at least gain a strong foothold—picking up valuable skills, experience, and references by using a goals worksheet as your North star. The following action items can help you become acclimated to the waters of your new position with a refreshing sense of purpose and direction.
Your 30-day plan:
Learning, soak it up like a sponge:
As a new hire, you’re likely eager to impress and dive into your new tech career headfirst.
Before offering suggestions, take time to understand your company’s mission and strategic positioning. Your workload will never be this light, so absorb everything you can about company products and processes.
If you’re unsure of your role’s purpose, expected duties, or metrics for successful performance, now is the time to ask so you can hit the mark.
In your first 30 days, it’s most important that you exemplify active listening, curiosity, and willingness to learn—these skills are worth more than you can imagine.
Your 60-day plan:
Contributing, find your sweet spot:
Now that you’ve survived the flood of information and you’re officially swimming, you can start to increase workflow and develop a reputation as a strong swimmer on your team.
You can achieve this objective by speaking up more often. Share ideas at meetings. Email your manager about a process improvement you’ve come up with. Show that you’ve conquered the learning curve and you’re hungry to contribute.
In your next 30 days, your focus may shift to reducing your dependence on others, communicating your fresh perspective, and flexing potential leadership skills by taking initiative in a small, but meaningful, way.
Your 90-day plan:
Taking initiative, shoot for the stars:
By the end of your first three months, you should have a firm grasp of your role, feel confident about your abilities, and be on the cusp of making a breakthrough contribution to your team. Instead of reacting to problems that pop up at random, be proactive and spearhead a new initiative for your team.
You should also be cognizant of how you can collaborate with other teams to improve your own team’s processes. By taking on some new projects outside of your main role, you’ll start turning some heads and catch the attention of the department at large.
Start your new career with confidence
With this guide, you’re now ready to make a splash and wow your new employer. Remember, you can always count on General Assembly if you need to brush up on a few tech skills or talk things over with your career development coach.
If you’d like to hear from one of our learning experts on the various options available to you, reach out to learn more.