You know that old expression, “a new broom sweeps clean?” Anything brand new will do the job well….in the beginning. But eventually, that broom might get a little comfortable or complacent and start to miss a spot here or there. And since bringing on a new broom is a costly process for the broom purchasers, they’re going to be watching to make sure they get the return they want on their sweeping investment. So today, we’re talking about making sure that you sweep nice and clean during those first 90 days.
It all starts with your interview, your promise of what you’re going to deliver. So let’s look at the promises you’ve brought to the table: you have the skills, the real world experience, the required certifications, the right attitude and willingness to learn, and a clearly articulated message about why you are the right match for this company culture. And they bought it. So now it’s time to deliver.
You’ll be closely analyzed during those first few months to make sure that your resume wasn’t writing checks your performance can’t cash. So are you living up to the expectations you established in your interview? Does your work reflect the finely tuned skills you claim to have? Are they seeing evidence of your training and experience? Are you really a “fast learner” and are you doing everything you can to bring yourself up to? Follow up supervisors after you’ve turned something in and ask for their feedback on your performance. Seek out help or advice from more experienced team members and apply that to your own job. Demonstrate that you’re learning all you can, that you’re applying your own skills and initiative, and you’re actively seeking feedback.
Now, on to that last promise you made. This may seem trivial to you in comparison to everything else you’re being evaluated on, but it’s actually vitally important because it’s the thing that’s evident almost immediately, just through casual observation. Are you the right fit for their company culture? Have you become friendly with other employees? Are you developing positive and productive relationships with your team? Have you established any mentor relationships? It’s easy to say, ok, job’s mine, and then sink into your routine where you put your headphones in, you go right to your desk, you take care of just your responsibilities and then you check right back out at the end of the day. But they need to see you become a part of the team. Reach out and learn everyone’s name and what they do there, no matter how unrelated your jobs may be. Observe how they function as a culture. Do they have a cake in the break room for birthdays? Do they circulate an employee newsletter? Do they have any regular gatherings like a happy hour or a game night you could participate in? Get involved. And once you’re more comfortable there, see what you can contribute yourself. Make sure the message you’re sending is that you care about the dynamics of the culture there, and that you’re eager to find your place in it.
Now that the “nailed it” interview part is over, it’s time for the “put my money where my mouth is” working part. Proving your worth during those first 90 days is critical to how you’re viewed as an employee from there on out. So sweep clean, new broom. Sweep very, very clean. For those first 90 days, and then every day after that.