The 90 Day Rule: 3 Must-Dos For Slaying Your New Job


On Episode Four of Joblogues I mentioned I just started a new gig. What I didn’t mention was the anxiety that comes with it. No, anxiety is the wrong word. Let’s say eagerness. After the euphoria of acceptance subsided, I just wanted to get it right. I wanted to deliver on the kick ass interview that wowed my new boss. I wanted to break bad habits I developed in my old position. As always, the universe provided just what I needed to calm myself down. Guidance came in the form of a book my aunt handed me a few weeks before I started the job: Expect to Win by Carla A. Harris. I recommend this read to anyone who feels like they’re fading into the background at work.

Allow me to direct your attention to chapter three: “You Are the Captain of Your Career”. Here is where Ms. Harris drops her 90 day rule. If you think you have until your first annual review to impress your new organization, you’re wrong, by a long shot. Harris contends that we all have one quarter to create an impression of our value. There are three things to accomplish in this critical time:

  1. You must learn the basic skill that is necessary to perform the job.
  2. You must learn the unspoken rules of the game (the informal politics of the environment).
  3. You must get to know who the pertinent players are in the organization and understand the key relationships that you have to develop.

Checking off this list gives you the insight needed to identify your niche in the company and spend the next ninety days establishing yourself as the go-to person for that product/process. The ninety day mark is also a great time to check in with your manager for feedback on just how well you’ve mastered the basics and share your vision for your place in the organization.

I recommend taking this quarterly review approach regardless of how long you’ve been on the job. Taking a moment to benchmark what you’ve accomplished and where you want to go helps you to get the most out of your position. Never forget: establishing the value your job offers to you is just as important as the value you bring to them.


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About Author

Cortney uses design, tech and storytelling strategy to help creatives and entrepreneurs take on the world. Catch her co-hosting the Joblogues podcast and see how she puts in work at Follow her @CleveOutLoud.