How to Stand Out During Your First 90 Days

-By Gillian Lopez

Congratulations! After endless resume submissions and countless interviews, you finally prevailed and landed the job! You’re probably feeling a rush of excitement: amongst all candidates you are the chosen one, and now you're ready to start. But first, let’s take a step back and strategize about your first 90 days of employment.

In today’s competitive job market, a 90-day probationary period is a general practice among most companies. They do this to examine just how well an employee will fit in, both on a work basis and a culture-fit perspective. You may be a rock star at your job, but if you can't work well with the team, there could be problems down the road. You may be a proactive individual all about teamwork and taking on multiple other projects with your coworkers, but If you can't maintain your primary responsibilities, this will certainly grab your supervisor’s attention - and not in a positive way. Your 90-day probationary period is a crucial time to showcase your abilities and enthusiasm for both the job itself and the team as a whole. 

Here are 3 simple steps to truly stand out during your first 90 days on the new job:

1. Always carry a notepad with you wherever you go

Unless you have a superb memory, it’s safe to say that you will be overloaded with a myriad of new information:  numerous company passwords, navigating through new software programs, identifying different processes, receiving advice from colleagues. Think of the first few weeks as an opportunity to learn and understand what resources are available to help you succeed in your new role. It’s also beneficial to keep your notes with you because you don’t want to be that employee who asks the same question twice - and you do want to be the resourceful employee who can answer questions for new colleagues in need of help. Now you’re on the right path!

2. Be known for something

You weren't hired just fill a job, but because your employer saw potential in you. While actual work performance can take time to prove, you can utilize the first few weeks to your advantage by being recognized for something – and I'm speaking in terms of accountability. For example:

  1. Acknowledge and respond to all emails even if it's as simple as: "Yes, I can do that."
  2. Consistently maintain a clean workspace
  3. Smile!
  4. Messy supply room? Tidy it up a bit
  5. Coworker is struggling with something? Try to help out
  6. Be the first one in the office

You get the idea, and I'm sure you have your own ways of demonstrating your proactive attitude. It may not be in your job description to do these things, but sometimes it's the simplest efforts that can speak volumes to your team and supervisors.

3. Connect with your colleagues

Now is the time to really get to know your coworkers and supervisors, especially during those first few weeks. I can't emphasize enough how important it is to start cultivating relationships with your colleagues from day one because nowadays employers are looking beyond your work ethic and also assessing culture fit. The best way you can accomplish this is to listen more, talk less, and ask a lot of questions. Everyone loves to talk about themselves: their interests, family, hobbies and accomplishments (and I can certainly confirm this, working in the recruiting industry and talking to people all day!). By authentically getting to know your colleagues, you'll be able to establish common connections, which will ultimately assist in your working partnership.

Five months ago, I was a new employee myself, and these are three simple steps that I found helpful during my 90-day probationary period. By following these steps, you will set a solid work ethic foundation that will lead you on the right path towards personal and professional growth!