Your first 90 days

How to start strong

The first 90 days of a new job are key to your future progress, as your colleagues will form their first impressions of you, and your new employer will assess your potential for future advancement. Here’s how to get off to a great start.


  • Learn everything you can about the company before your first day.
  • Find out the challenges confronting the business and the key stakeholders.
  • On your first day, arrive well rested, with plenty of energy.
  • Ensure you’re clear on the expectations of your role, how success is measured, the resources available to you, and the needs and preferences of the person you report to.
  • Get to know the personalities on your team, and meet the key people in the organization you’ll be working with. Introduce personal information about yourself slowly in the early days. You can be more open as you establish relationships over time.
  • Intuit the unofficial aspects of the organizational culture: the office politics, the unspoken conventions, the elephants in the room.
  • Avoiding proposing significant changes until you know how everything works. While it’s good to leverage your knowledge and experience, it’s better to understand the situation thoroughly before embarking on change. Be sure to use the problem-solving skills and methodologies you learned throughout your time at Rotman
  • Participate in social events outside of the office.
  • Create momentum in your new role, and aim to create a positive perception of your abilities, with some small, early wins.
  • Talk regularly with at least one person who knows the company well and is willing to be frank. Ideally, this could be a mentor.

Learn more

For more information on how to approach your new role, consider purchasing the book The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter by Michael D. Watkins.