The First 90 Days – why they’re important

The First 90 Days – why they’re important

Posted February 1st, 2015 in Career Advancement.

In Miriam Meckel’s LinkedIn article, My First 90 Days: Why You Should Always Start from Scratch, Ms. Meckel states:

“It only took a couple of minutes to understand: I had to discard my plans, schedules and goals. I needed to get myself into that group of people, their thoughts, experiences, their evolving collaboration. I needed to start from scratch, open up and join in wherever our debates and work would take us. And only after a period of open, unstructured and unlimited cross-linking with the others it would be the time to start making plans and schedules again.”

How often do we start a job with this awareness, this “beginner’s mind”? After all, how would starting from scratch serve us if we were hired for our expertise?


By setting aside any preconceived notions of how the first days are going to go, Ms. Meckel offers two basic insights that will certainly serve not just you in your new position but also the company. First, “Listen, don’t tell.” Second, “Build, don’t break down.” And third, “Learn, don’t teach.”

These three steps might seem contradictory to the very reasons you were brought on in the first place. But who can argue with these points? Everyone knows the best way to learn about an organization is to listen to the people that make it up. And by listening to people, we gain their trust, and begin to build the base of solid professional relationships.


Businesswoman Drawing a Mind Map
Businesswoman Drawing a Mind MapAs these relationships deepen, the ability to become a part of and build effective teams is strengthened. By acknowledging we are new to an organization, we open ourselves up to learning: learning not just what is working but what is not working. It will become more apparent what it is we might need to share and teach our colleagues, rather than starting off assuming they know nothing.

Truthfully, these first 90 days are as much about relationship building as they are about a job well done. Both are essential to professional success.

Please share with us your insights on the importance of the first 90 days. We welcome your stories and experiences, and believe by sharing our experiences, together we can help each other succeed!