Guide to Creating a 30-60-90 Day Plan for a New Job

The first 90 days in a new job generally set the tone for your employment. Three months is the standard “grace period” for new employees, and how you handle those first weeks and months on the job is critical.

Creating a 30-60-90 day plan can help guide your actions during the transition period for your new position. The plan is a written outline of the strategy and goals you have for the first three months in a new position. It demonstrates an understanding of what the job involves and your ability to perform the job.

Developing a 30-60-90 day plan requires that you mentally prepare yourself for a new position by planning the activities and projects that will help you learn what you need to know about your new employer and co-workers while setting yourself up for success in the first 90 days on the job. Your 30-60-90 day plan will address many aspects of business matters, including products, customers, technologies, company culture/politics, and strategies.

After 90 days in a new position, your supervisor expects you to be making an impact in your new position. The 30-60-90 day plan helps ensure you’ll achieve this goal.

Where To Get The Information For Your 30-60-90 Day Plan

This document can help you demonstrate an understanding of the role and a specific plan for meeting the company’s needs. Of course, to create the document, you must have information about the company, the job, and the industry. You can gather this information by researching the company and industry, and/or customers, through conversations with your job interviewer(s), future co-workers, supervisors, and vendors serving the company or the industry.

Here are just some of the sources you can consult for research:

  • The job description/job posting for the position
  • The company’s website (including news releases, mission statements, and the company’s annual report)
  • The company’s social media channels (Twitter, Facebook business page, LinkedIn company profile, YouTube channel, etc.)

** Ask the manager to provide you with access to additional data that will help you develop the plan — i.e., financial and operating reports, strategic and functional plans, employee surveys, etc.? (Keep in mind, the company may not want to provide you with this data unless you are hired, so you may not have access to this information until you’re an employee.)

One of the best sources of information is meeting with your new manager. Listen carefully for information
that relates to the organization’s strategy, technical capabilities, corporate culture, and organizational politics.

Some questions to ask that will help you prepare the plan include:

  • What is the biggest challenge facing the organization in the next 6 months or year?
  • How is this role expected to address this challenge facing the company? (Or is it?)
  • What does he or she absolutely need you to accomplish within the first 90 days?
  • What would he or she like you to do beyond that during the first 90 days?
  • What is the most promising — yet unexploited — opportunity for growth? Why isn’t the company pursuing that opportunity right now?
  • What is the biggest problem you need solved by (this job title)?
  • Is this position focused on new projects, turnarounds/realignments, or sustaining success?

Take a few moments to write down everything you can think of that relates to:

  • Problems the manager, department, and/or company is facing
  • Opportunities that haven’t yet been pursued but that are a priority
  • Your personal weaknesses/shortcomings that may need to be addressed in follow-up communications to strengthen your position as a candidate
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