After an increasingly rigorous application process, the start date for a new job can almost seem like an anti-climax. But don’t be fooled, the first 90 days at your new job (also known as the probation period) are absolutely critical!
1. The first thing on your mind should be setting up your personal brand. By developing an understanding of the people you work with and the people you work for, you will be able to manage your place within the firm (I like to call it the ‘sweet-spot’ - a spot where you can thrive as an individual without stepping on people’s toes). These 90 days must be approached with a plan of attack. You must move cautiously but assertively as your perceived brand is what sets you up for the next few years.
2. If you’ve landed a grad role at a big firm I can almost guarantee that the first week will be jam packed with training. My tip here: don’t take anyone for granted. As you look around the room at your fellow graduates you will be amazed at just how many of them you may need assistance from in your working life. Whether it’s borrowing someone’s pass to get access to colour printing, utilising the ‘data analytics guy’ to help you take your report to ‘the next level’ or selling work to them in in the future when they are the CEO of a multinational and you’re a Partner at your firm. It’s the relationships you build with them from day one that will support you through the rest of your career. Note: they are also the people that will bring the most enjoyment to your job. Spend time getting to know them and make an effort to sustain these friendships.
3. With the first couple of months under your belt it’s time to start taking responsibility for your own professional development. Join a professional association, explore further education possibilities and seek out a mentor within the firm. Having a mentor can improve your job performance, grow your network and if nothing else have someone that you know has your back (and you can never have too many of those).
4. And most importantly…ask for feedback. No matter how little or big you perceive your interaction to be never underestimate the value of feedback. Even more importantly; be open to receiving constructive feedback. There is nothing to be gained from sugar coated feedback. Gathering honest feedback from those that have been in your shoes before is the most valuable way to improve as an employee and set yourself up for success. If you can do all of these things with a certain sense of confidence then you’ll be on your way to setting yourself up for a successful career in any job.