As a result of the downturn in our economy, there are more job applicants seeking positions from stable companies. Hiring companies have their pick of very qualified and eager candidates to interview. Creating a 90 day business plan is an excellent way to set yourself apart from the competition.
A 90 business plan is a written plan of what you will accomplish in your new role within the first 90 days of being hired. It specifies your priorities and goals and serves as a roadmap for the beginning of your career. Because small changes in your actions can have a great impact on long-term results, your first few days in a new position are critical. A 90 day plan will help you gain the hiring manager’s attention and increase your chances of securing an interview and ultimately being hired. Once hired, the action plan will help you create momentum, reducing the chances of having an uphill battle at the beginning of your career.
According to Michael Watkins, author of The First 90 Days, it is best to begin your written action plan by dividing the 90 days into 30-day increments, beginning with a “Pre-Hired” segment. So how do you formulate your plan? What do you include in each of the sections? It requires research on your part and some written communication skills. Here are some suggestions to get you started:
Prior to Arrival
Prior to starting your new position, you will want to spend time promoting yourself. This involves mentally preparing yourself for your new role and gaining as much knowledge as possible about the company and the position. Here are some ideas on what to include in your 90 day plan:
– Review the company’s mission, values, vision and business plan.
– Become familiar with the company’s website and its contents.
– If possible, talk with other employees about the role, the environment and the team.
First 30 Days
During your first month in your new position, you want to observe and learn as much as possible. Ask questions, develop relationships, and begin to build your credibility. Here are some suggested items to include in your plan:
– Meet with your new supervisor to review the department’s vision and goals. Determine his/her priorities, pet peeves and expectations for your role.
– Identify the key processes of the team and their effectiveness.
– Arrange for orientations and job shadows with key members of the team.
– Start identifying potential knowledge resources within and outside of assigned area.
During this time period, you will build on the first month’s accomplishments. Your objective for this new month is to continue to gain knowledge and seek to further optimize your team’s performance. You should also begin developing your support network. Items to include in your written plan are:
– Schedule introductory meetings with other leaders and key stakeholders.
– Begin identifying potential mentors and members of your informal network.
– Meet with key business partners from other areas and develop open lines of communication.
For your last month of your 90 day plan, your objectives will be to focus on contributing to and implementing the major priorities of the team as outlined in the company and department’s business plans. You will also want to use this time to assess your transition progress and development. Suggested items for this section include:
– Analyze the goals and priorities you previously set and identify any necessary changes.
– Assess your competencies as well as any strengths and weaknesses noted during the transition period.
– Evaluate established personal disciplines, such as planning, time management, and goal setting to ensure their effectiveness.
– Discuss with supervisor your observations, challenges, successes, and knowledge gained during your first 90 days.
By adding a 90 day plan, tailored to the specific company you are applying to, you can increase your chances of gaining an interview and being hired.
Michael Watkins, The First 90 Days