Hey there! How has your week been?
Mine has been a whirlwind of emotions. On Tuesday, I celebrated a major milestone: my 90th day at my first real-world job. This means that I’m no longer on a probationary period, but am now a full-fledged employee and can do things like take PTO (just in time for the holidays!).
To mark this occasion, I’ve decided to reflect on these first 90 days.
They’ve been especially tumultuous because our old marketing director left at the end of my first week (this had been in the works for some time, so I promise it wasn’t because of me) and we didn’t get a new one until early October. I was hired in mid-August, so I spent nearly two months without a formal manager. Suffice to say that my experience gives me a unique perspective and has forced me to learn some harsh lessons earlier than my peers (according to Facebook, at least).
I hope these lessons help you to reflect on your own job. If you’ve got any tips that you wish you had known during your first 90 days at work, please comment below!
Your first day at work is a lot like your first day at school.
You’re meeting all your new coworkers (whose names you won’t remember anyway), learning what the culture is like, and figuring out all the logistics like where you’re supposed to eat your lunch (I eat at my desk while watching Netflix). Just like in high school, your first day really sets the tone for the rest of your experience.
This is nothing like any internship you may have had.
My former boss (I guess that’s what I should call her, even though I only worked with her for a week?) really impressed this upon me. And she was right. As an intern, you’re responsible for one-off tasks and just kind of helping out wherever is needed. But as a full-fledged employee, you’re expected to work on projects, take initiative, and yes, even ask questions in meetings. I know it’s scary at first, but trust me, you’ll get the hang of it in no time.
You have to carve out your own role.
Full disclosure: my company is going through a major growth spurt right now and I was the first dedicated social media person that has ever been hired. Needless to say, I kind of had to carve out my own role from Day One. Your experience might be different, but you’ll still be expected to take ownership of your role. Just because the person before you did things one way, doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to follow in their footsteps. There’s nothing wrong with taking a different perspective and trying out new things (as long as you have your boss’s support).
Form strong relationships with your teammates.
This is important for a couple of reasons. Namely, you’re going to spend the rest of your time together working on a series of group projects; and you’re going to be spending 8-9 hours a day, 5 days a week, with these people. You don’t have to be BFFs, but you do have to respect each other and establish a good working relationship.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
You know the best thing about being a new employee? No one expects you to know a damn thing. So, ask all the questions! There’s (almost) no such thing as a dumb question. And it’s better to ask all this stuff now versus two years down the road when whoever you ask is going to be like, “You’re just now asking this? What the heck have you been doing in the meantime, then?”
Things always work out.
Even when you’re overwhelmed and it seems like nothing is going right, it will work out. I had a crisis a few weeks ago, when I was so focused on proving myself that I actually ended up doing everything wrong, but now, I’m really happy with where I am. Trust that God, the universe, Fate, or whatever you believe in is looking out for you. And remember: it’s just a bad day, not a bad life. One snappy email doesn’t mean that you’re a total failure at your job. I promise.
These are the major lessons that I’ve learned in the last three months. I know we all have unique experiences, so please leave a comment with your own lesson that you learned during your first 90 days at a new job. I can’t wait to hear your stories!
Have a great weekend, y’all!