Develop a 30-Day Plan to Make a Positive Impression During Your First Month on the Job


Congratulations! You landed the job! Now it’s time to make an outstanding impression as you start the job. An effective way to do that is by creating a plan to guide your first 30 days on the job. Start crafting this plan in your first week.

Consider including these components in your plan:

Identify your goals and how you will measure them. Obviously, your goals need to align with those of your employer, but you may have ideas for initiatives that go above and beyond the organization’s plans, as well as plans for your own enrichment. Clifford Chi on Hubspot suggests setting three kinds of goals:

  • Learning Goals
  • Initiative Goals
  • Personal Goals

Make it a point to meet everyone you can, especially emphasizing your own team. One-on-one meetings with members of the team are mandatory if you are a manager, but also desirable if the team members are your peers. Be open to socializing with team members. “Talk to different groups,” advises Sharoni Billik, CEO and founder of SBHC, a medical affairs professional services firm – “commercial, medical affairs, market access, regulatory affairs and understand what the landscape is for each of those functional areas.”

This time of meeting everyone you can is ideal for a preliminary search for a mentor. Identifying a mentor takes time and care, but you can scope out your co-workers in these early days for the qualities and knowledge you seek. Learn more about finding a mentor.

Attain clarity on your role and your boss’s expectations of you. You should already have a good grasp on the role and expectations before you start the job, but be sure to ask any lingering – but thoughtful --questions in the early days and ensure that your boss’s priorities align with yours. Know what your deliverables are and when they’re due.

Determine how best to make your boss’s job easier. One of the best ways is to project a supportive, can-do attitude. Entering a leadership position at a nonprofit, I set up a retreat for my team of me and two subordinates. One team member had come into her job saying her goal was to make my job easier. But when she gave up in frustration over cutting up apples during team-building dinner prep, I instantly knew she would be doing the opposite of making my job easier.

Learn as much as you can about the organization. Ideally, you will already know a lot from having researched the company during your job search. Now start learning in depth. “Know the science. Know the market,” Billik suggests. “Be a ‘productician’ for whatever product or service your company is developing or selling. Get a feel for its culture and any organizational politics you might have to navigate. Learn who its customers, competitors, and vendors are. Get a grasp on policies and procedures, especially as they affect your area and job function. One of the most important pieces of learning you can attain, especially from members of your team, is the company’s pain points. Understanding those challenges can guide your goal-setting. Be sure you’ve quietly observed for a while before making bold suggestions for changes and improvements.

Get the most out of training and identify gaps. You will probably undergo formal or informal training when you start the job. Approach it positively and be a knowledge sponge. When the training ends, determine what wasn’t covered and what you still need to know to do your job optimally. Develop a plan to bridge the knowledge gaps.

Start tracking your accomplishments from day one: This suggestion falls into the category of personal goals because keeping a record of your accomplishments will boost your career, planting seeds for your advancement in the organization you’ve just joined, as well as for your next job search.

Another kind of 30-Day Plan

Note that a request for a 30-day (or 30-60-90-day) plan sometimes comes from a hiring manager before you are ever hired. The request could come in the form of a simple interview question: “What do you see yourself accomplishing in the first 30 days on the job?” or you could be asked to prepare a full-blown written plan. You can also take the initiative to create a plan without being asked. The pre-hire plan is more difficult to develop and requires significant research because you don’t yet have insider knowledge of the organization. Author Peggy McKee offers tips on this kind of pre-hire plan in her article, 5 Tips for Writing the Most Effective 30-60-90 Day Plan.

Whether you develop a 30-day plan before or after hire, you will distinguish yourself since not many other careerists engage in this planning. You’ll also set yourself up for success in the new job and make a great impression.

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