Starting a new role can be a challenge. In your first week, you’re absorbing endless information. It can feel uncertain when it will all sink in. Onboarding is always a learning curve, but to make the transition into a new role smoother, try your hand at a 30 60 90 Day Plan.
Essentially, a 30-60-90 Day Plan is a plan of action for your first 3 months on the job. You can make them as a new joiner or to prepare for a job interview. HR leaders might support new hires with their plans.
New managers also benefit from creating a plan as they test out their leadership skills.
In an interview, an interviewer will ask you to outline what action you would take in the role. They might even ask, ‘what are you intentions for the first, 30,60,90 days on the job?’. This question can come out of the blue - it’s not one you’d want to answer without doing some prep work. By creating a 30-60-90 day plan, you’ll can demonstrate that you have the know-how to hit the ground running in your new role.
As you write your 30-60-90 Day Plan, you need to ask yourself the questions below:
As a newbie in the office, one of the first things you need to understand is what your team’s goals are. Ask your team directly what targets they are pushing for this quarter and beyond.
What made you interested in this new role? Was it the opportunity to develop your digital marketing skills, or involve yourself with more collaborative work? Make sure you incorporate this into your plan, and highlight this to your manager. Also consider how you will integrate with the new team – how will you develop positive working relationships with your colleagues?
Starting a new role is all about learning! How will you sponge up all the knowledge you need, and what quantifiable targets can you set to keep track of your progress? Use SMART goals – they keep targets measurable and realistic.
Initiative goals are about what you plan to do to stand out. Particularly in an interview setting, this can be a great way to set yourself apart from other candidates.
With your goals in mind, draft them up in the following steps:
You need to think about which are shorter and longer term goals. Divide up your targets into 30, 60 and 90 day goals.
One of the most important things to remember is to write measurable and achievable goals. Setting perfectionist goals like ‘write excellent reports every week’ or vague targets like ‘get better at sales’ will leave you with a plan that you’ll probably never look at again. Instead, set quantifiable targets and make sure that when you hit them, you celebrate the win.
Plans like this are sometimes left to gather dust. But remember to review your plan regularly. This reassures you as you navigate your new role. Schedule a one-on-one with your manager to review your plan after each month. Not only will this help to keep you accountable, it’s an opportunity to receive ongoing feedback from your manager. As a newbie, feedback is everything.
If you miss a target, don’t be disheartened. Discuss this with a manager or colleague. They may have struggled with the same aspect of the role when they were new. Their insights will help you develop. And, not to forget, highlight any progress, so you can enjoy that all-important recognition!
Some interviewers will ask you the scary question: “What would your first 30, 60, or 90 days look like in this role?”.
Before you panic, remember that answering this effectively will showcase your expertise and initiative. As Michael Watkins, author of The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter writes, “By talking about how you would approach your first 90 days, you demonstrate agility and proactiveness.” Especially if you’re applying for a manager or high-level position, the ability to work smarter and chart a realistic course of action will impress employers.
So how to draft up a 30-60-90 day plan for a job interview? It’s important to consider why the interviewer is asking this. They want to know if you can apply your skills and knowledge to this role. They also want to know how you plan to engage with this role – do you plan to collaborate with your team and delegate effectively?
Make sure you do ample research on the company. If asked to give a presentation, focus on a few key areas, such as increasing sales, and develop a detailed strategy around this.
30 Days Goal – Prepare for sales call using a detailed plan
60 Days Goal – Make 5 successful sales calls
90 Days Goal – Lead a professional development session
A hiring manager may create a 30 60 90 Day Plan in consultation with a new employee. It’s a great way for HR to understand how their onboarding efforts are working.
If you’re not given support on creating a plan, you can use a template and start drafting your own goals. Onboarding is usually a grace period, where your team understand that you’re going through a learning curve. But it’s also a chance for you to make a great first impression! Setting ambitious and realistic goals can motivate you to go the extra mile in your new job.
30 Days Goal – Learn how to use the marketing software
60 Days Goal – Identify a new sales strategy
90 Days Goal - Sign a new client
Becoming a great manager takes experience, mentoring and a good plan. If you are a first-time manager, you may feel nervous about your new responsibilities. A 30 60 90 Day Plan charts out a timeframe for you to get to know your team and provide feedback on top of your personal professional goals.
New manager plans benefit from a learning phase, a contributing phase and a leading phase.
The learning phase will involve getting to know your team and their working styles. Make sure you talk to your employees regularly, formally and informally. Holding an icebreaker activity would be a great goal for the initial learning phase.
In the contributing phase, it’s time to put your skills into action. As a new manager, you might consider making operations more efficient with a new software system, or creating a brand new sales strategy.
The leading phase is when you really start to take the helm and support your team. You might have identified skills gaps in the learning phase which you can now start to tackle with extra training or mentoring.
Below is a 30 60 90 Day Plan for a Marketing Team Member. You can adapt this to organise your goals.
Learning Goals: Learn how to optimize a blog post
Performance Goals: Publish a blog post, fully optimised for SEO
Personal Goals: Collaborate with my teammates on a project
Initiative Goals: Contribute my ideas to a new marketing strategy
Learning Goals: Understand the email marketing system
Performance Goals: Increase the number of qualified leads
Personal Goals: Attend a one on one meeting to set SMART goals with manager
Initiative Goals: Share a marketing campaign idea and ask if I can lead a project
Learning Goals: Attend a lunch and learn
Performance Goals: Increase qualified leads contacted by 20%
Personal Goals: Demonstrate ability to work effectively with colleagues on a complex project
Initiative Goals: Write a marketing strategy
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Even with the best of intentions, many of us can get lost in a new role. By setting out a careful 30 60 90 Day Plan, you lay the stepping stones for great performance. With your trusty guide, you’ll know what needs to be your focus in the short and longer term.
For more ideas about the employee onboarding process, why not read our article Remote Employee Onboarding: 5 Ways to Inspire from Day 1?
Related articles from our blog, read on
A 30 60 90 Day Onboarding Checklist provides managers with the necessary tools to monitor the progress of onboarding employees. For the employee, this checklist ensures that they receive the support they need, as they need it, whilst learning the ropes.