Optimizing My First 90 Days in a New Role or Company

Did you know?

According to research, for at least their first 90 days in a new role, employees consume value rather than create value.


Watkins, M. (2003). First 90 Days. Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing.

In your first three months, you will be learning a new role. A new manager. A new set of expectations. A new set of work processes. A new team culture. A new corporate culture. Regardless of your skills or previous experience in the field, you can expect a learning curve before you fully understand and adapt to the new environment. As a result, according to research, it typically requires three months or more in a new role before business people begin to add real value for their employees.

The good news: You do not have to put undue pressure on yourself to be a hero right away.

Of course this does not mean that any expectations for your transitional period should be minimal. Instead, adopting a thoughtful approach to your first 90 days can significantly impact how much value you add in your second three months on the job, and can build infrastructure for your long-term success.

Before you arrive in your new role, use this guide to plan how you will learn the most from your environment, begin to build credibility/political capital, and grow personally in that first 90 days so you can accelerate the value you add for both you and your company in the long run.

Based on The First 90 Days by Michael Watkins (Watkins, M. (2003). First 90 Days. Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing.)