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How to Wow Your Boss in Your First 90 Days on the Job

The first 90 days on the job can be the hardest. Impress your new boss and coworkers with these tips!

Everyone has started a new job at some point in their lives, and chances are you will repeat the process a few more times during your professional career.

The first 90 days of a new position are often considered a “trial period” to make sure you and the company are a good fit. Whether you are starting with a new company or switching departments, it’s critical to make a great first impression with your new boss.

So, what can you do to wow your boss in your first 90 days on the job?

Here are the most effective tips I’ve gleaned from my own personal experiences and things I’ve learned from watching others:

1. Arrive early and stay late. When you are starting a new job, you want your boss to know that you are dedicated to your job. One way to show that is to come to work a little earlier than them and stay a little later than they do. Even if you leave a few minutes after they do, they will notice that you are still there when they leave.

At a minimum, work your full 40 hours every week. Unless it’s an emergency or something you told them about very early on, don’t take time off in the beginning. Your first few months should be filled with hard work and lots of learning — and you need to be at work to do those things.

2. Dress the part. Make sure you know what the office dress code is and stick to it. It may require you to go shopping (which I have had to do in the past), but it is critical that you look the part. It will make you feel more confident, and will show others that you are paying attention to the company culture.

It may take a while for you to gain credibility in your new role and not dressing appropriately will immediately take that credibility away.

3. Have a 90 day plan and share it with your boss. You may have worked on this during your interview project, but it is a good idea to have a rough 90 day plan. This can be very vague, but it will help you to craft some goals during this time and hold yourself accountable.

Sharing this with your boss will help to make sure you are on the right page, but it will also show your boss you have initiative and are planning ahead. Don’t be afraid to ask them of your expectations and goals for you during your first 90 days, too.

4. Learn, learn, learn — and listen more than you talk. When coming into a new department or division, it is so important to take some time to learn. Learn what your job is, learn the company culture, and learn who you should know.

Take as much time as you can to learn as much as you can. Ask your supervisor questions. They will appreciate that you are trying to learn. If you have a boss that is difficult to get a hold of or who doesn’t respond well to questions, find someone else in your department or company who can help.

One of the most important things is to learn names. I can’t stress this enough. Make sure you get to know who you will be working with, both inside and outside of your company. And if people have assistants, learn who they are. They will be very helpful for you down the road.

5. Ask for a 90 day review. If your company doesn’t already require this, ask your boss to do a 90 day review. This is another thing that will both be helpful for you, and will impress your boss. Make sure to ask questions and seek out feedback during this review.

Your goal should be to make sure you are on the right track, but also to find out what you could be doing better or differently. There is no way you will have become an expert at your job, so there should be something your supervisor can tell you to work on. The criticism may not be fun to hear, but it really can help you long term.

Don’t forget to be humble, and remember: you are new in this role. There is nothing more irritating than a new person coming in and trying to change everything and make things “better.”

The best employees are those that come in and learn before they try to make changes.

This is especially true when you join a big company and when you’re in the early stages in your career. You have to gain some credibility before your colleagues will follow your ideas and proposed changes.

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Also, don’t get frustrated when you don’t have the influence you want or are doing things you don’t want to do. When you’re new in a role, you are still learning and figuring out what your “normal” will be like. So try not to get discouraged too early in the process (unless you really feel like you have made the wrong choice in choosing the job, then it’s best to take the high road and leave gracefully).

Your first 90 days on the job are important. Learn everything you can and try to make sure your boss knows that you are working hard and care about your job by following these 5 tips.

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About the Author

Jessica Sharp

Jessica Sharp is passionate about empowering underserved and minority communities, diverse representation, and brain education. Jessica is the Founder and Chief Educator of Sharp Brain Consulting which works with public service agencies to provide education about the brain and its effect on organizational outcomes. Additionally, she is on the leadership team of Meals on Wheels in her town of Greenville, SC. She is completing a Masters of Public Affairs from the University of Missouri. Upon her completion, she will attend William James College to obtain a Doctorate of Psychology. Follow her on twitter at @sharpjes.