With all the joy and excitement of landing a new job, you can feel just as much fear and anxiety. Overcoming your new role’s learning curve and the desire to make a lasting impression on your employer can put a lot of pressure on you. What if you can’t adapt in time?
Fortunately, there’s a way to organize and prioritize your time and tasks, helping you seamlessly adapt to your new environment. It’s called a 30-60-90 day plan. And following it enables you to soak in as much information as possible, master your core job responsibilities, and sets you up to make a lasting impact on your new team.
Think of your 30-60-90 day plan as your North Star, keeping your sights set in the right direction and guiding you toward success as a new hire. But before we show you how to write this plan, let’s go over what exactly it is and how it’ll enhance your performance during your first three months on the job.
What is a 30-60-90 Day Plan?
A 30-60-90 day plan lays out a clear course of action for you during the first 30, 60, and 90 days of your new job. By setting concrete goals and a vision for your abilities at each stage of the plan, you can make your transition into a new organization smooth and empowering.
There are two situations where you’d write a 30-60-90 day plan. The first is during the final stages of an interview process. Some hiring managers ask candidates to think about and explain their potential 30-60-90 day plan as a new hire. They want to see if you can organize your time, prioritize the tasks you’d likely take on, and strategize an approach to your job description.
A well thought-out 30-60-90 day plan is a great way to help the hiring manager visualize you in the role and differentiate yourself from all other candidates.
The second situation where you’d write a 30-60-90 day plan is during the first week of your new job. This plan will allow your hiring manager to learn how you operate, address any of your concerns or preconceived notions about the role, and ultimately help you succeed.
If you’re not asked to craft a 30-60-90 day plan during the interview process or the first week of your job, it’s still a good idea to write one for yourself. A new job can feel like a completely foreign environment during the first few months. Having a plan in place can make it feel more like home.
Even though 90 days is the standard grace period for new employees to learn the ropes, it’s also the best time to make a great first impression.
The purpose of your plan is to help you transition into your new role, but it should also be a catalyst for your career development. Instead of just guiding you over your job’s learning curve, the goals outlined in your plan should push you to perform up to your potential and raise your bar for success at its every stage.
Improving your skills requires concrete performance goals, so watch out for vagueness in the objectives you set for yourself. “Write a better blog post,” or “get better at brainstorming” are terrific ambitions, but they don’t give you a way to measure your progress in them. Set goals that are realistic, quantifiable, and focused. You’ll know exactly how to achieve them and gauge your success.
To write challenging yet feasible performance goals, ask yourself the following questions:
What are my team’s goals?
Try to understand the purpose behind your team’s goals. It’ll give you more insight into why you and your team should achieve them, motivating you to work as hard as possible to meet those goals.
What will be my main priorities?
By connecting your personal responsibilities to your team’s goals, you’ll know exactly how to align your tasks with the needs of the team, which keeps you accountable and compels you to help your team achieve their goals.
How will I measure my progress?
Tracking your progress helps you gauge your performance and rate of improvement. To see how you’re doing, set up weekly meetings with your manager to ask her what she thinks of your work and track the improvement of your own performance metrics, like the growth of your blog posts’ average views or the amount of qualified leads your eBooks generate.
Reaching your performance goals isn’t the only path toward future success in your new role, though. You also need to study the ins and outs of your team and company, take initiative, and develop relationships with coworkers -- all things that a lot of new hires underestimate the importance of.
Consider setting the following types of goals during each stage of your 30-60-90 day plan:
Learning Goals - How will you absorb as much information as possible about your company, team, and role?
Initiative Goals - What will you do to stand out?
Personal Goals - How will you integrate with your company and team?
Aiming to achieve these types of goals will help you hit the ground running in all the right areas of your job. And if you stick to your plan, you’ll notice you’ll be able to spend less time learning and more time executing.
30-60-90 Day Plan Template with Examples
Many new hires are eager to impress, so they dive head-first into their work or try to make suggestions about their team’s process with limited experience in how their new team operates. But have patience.
Understanding your company’s vision and your team’s existing strategy is crucial for producing high-quality work and actually making an impact. If you don’t know the purpose behind your role or the optimal way to perform, you’ll risk missing the mark and your early efforts won’t pay off the way you expect them to.
It’s always better to over-prepare than under-prepare. And it’s okay to take time to learn the ropes -- it pays huge dividends in the long run. In the first 30 days of your employment, your priority is to be a sponge and soak in as much information as possible. Once you do that, you can then try to improve more specific parts of your team’s work style.
Theme: Be a Sponge
Study my company’s mission, vision, and overarching strategy.
Read my company’s culture code to learn more about our company culture and why we implement it.
Read the customer persona and target audience overview to truly understand who our customers are, their pain points, and how our product and content can help them.
Meet with my team’s director to learn about how meeting our goals will help our business grow.
Read up on our team’s new SEO strategy, editorial process, and traffic goals.
Learn how to use the SEO Insights Report to plan and structure blog posts.
Review my team’s pillar-cluster model overview and understand how to match posts to clusters.
Meet with my manager to learn more about her expectations.
Complete new hire training and pass the test with a 90% or higher.
Be able to write 3 blog posts per week.
Run the Facebook Instant Article experiment that my manager recommended me to do.
Grab coffee with everyone on my team, so I can get to know them on a professional and personal level.
By the end of your first 60 days, you should ramp up your workload, start overachieving, and make a name for yourself on your team. To do this, start speaking up more at meetings. Don’t be afraid to share your ideas about improving your team’s processes. This shows you’re quickly conquering the learning curve and recognizing some flaws that your colleagues might’ve overlooked. You still have a fresh perspective on the company, so your insight is invaluable.
Theme: Be a Contributor
Learn how to optimize a new post from scratch based on both the SEO Insights Report and my own competitive research.
Read every other marketing team’s wiki page to learn about other marketing initiatives and how our entire department works together to grow our business.
Deep dive into my company’s product roadmap and strategy to fully grasp our mission and vision.
Be able to write 5 blog posts per week.
Be down to one cycle of edits per post.
Understand how to edit a guest post -- clean up at least one rough draft.
Share content strategy idea at my team’s monthly meeting and ask if I can spearhead the project to boost blog traffic.
Ask my manager if I can oversee Facebook messenger and Slack distribution strategy.
Meet with my colleagues on other teams to learn about their marketing initiatives and develop relationships outside of my team.
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.
Theme: Be a Leader
Do an analysis of my highest and lowest performing blog post up to date. How can I use this information to optimize new content so it performs better out of the gate?
Be comfortable with writing five blog posts per week
Edit one guest post per week
Try to have 75% of my blog posts not require revisions.
Write at least one new post that generates over 10,000 views in one month.
Ask SEO team if they want to partner with product marketing team to brainstorm content topics related to our product road map.
Ask social media team if they’re willing to develop a relationship where we can share each other’s content.
Ask sales team what our customers’ pain points are, so we can write content that our target audience craves and help them close more qualified leads.
Join the yoga club.
Learning the nuances of your new role in less than three months won’t be easy. But crafting a strong 30-60-90 day plan is your best bet for accelerating your development and adapting to your new work environment as quickly as possible.
Originally published Jul 19, 2018 6:00:00 AM, updated July 19 2018