10 essential elements of your first 100 day plan in a new role

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So you have successfully got that new job, or a promotion or transfer to a new role – what next? What are the essential elements of your first 100 day plan? You need to work hard not just learning the technical parts of your new job, but also the people, the organisation, the culture.

Here are 10 areas to consider:

1 Have a Plan

So after all the effort and excitement of actually getting the new role, don’t think the hard work is over. In fact you really need to plan what you want to achieve in the first 100 days, and that plan needs to cover way more than just the technical aspects of the role.

2 Be clear what your manager defines as success

Your boss probably made the final decision to recruit or promote you, so they have a vested interest in your success. In some ways they should be the easiest to please. Whilst they can offer some help and support, you probably don’t want to be discussing all your worries and concerns with them (that’s where external coaching can be a big help)

At the very least get your manager to agree specific measurable targets for the first 100 days, work hard to make sure these are comfortably achievable – and then plan to exceed them.

3 Be clear what you define as success

This is probably going to be slightly different to your manager’s definition!

There may be parts about building your future career, or networking relationships.

Finally its worth thinking about what are your warning signals that this really isn’t the role or company for you? It’s far better to get out early than just carry on hoping things will work out.

4 Be clear and consistent on your personal brand

You were hired for this role because of who you are (as well as what you can do). It helps if you have it clear in your mind what are your top values and characteristics that make you stand out as who you are.

I’m not saying blindly apply them in all situations without any accommodation to your audience. However,

5 Map out the formal organisation

This shouldn’t be too hard. Get a copy of organisation charts, or learn how to access the company system. Make sure your details are there and correct.

Obviously you need to know your team, those reporting to you and below them.

Your colleagues who report to your manager, some of these will be supportive, some antagonistic(either because they applied for the job, their team has long running frictions with yours, or they just don’t get on with you) and most ambivalent (they are busy with their own team’s issues and challenges)

Your manager’s colleagues and boss. Whilst these won’t have an immediate impact on you, it never does any harm to make your manager look good to their manager and peers.

Other teams that interact with your team. Building positive relationships with leaders of these teams will make your life so much easier. plan to spend time with each of them to understand their needs and challenges and what they would like to see improve in your team or the overall process.

6 Map out the informal organisation

As you start with the formal organisation step above, build up an understanding of who actually gets things done. Who are the helpful team players. Who do people turn to for advice or approval (even when they are not in the formal hierarchy).

Equally important, who are working against you or your team. If you can try and work out what is driving their behaviour.

7 Start to understand the Culture

Look out for indications of what gets rewarded, what gets sanctioned. What are the patterns of behaviour.

On the other hand you don’t just want to blindly conform – decide where you want to stand out and be different.

8 Have a system for remembering who you interact with

You are going to meet a lot of new people and will need some way of remembering their details.

Personally I use the notes section of Outlook contacts to record where I met them, anything about their hobbies or background, and what their top challenges or current issues are.

9 Maintain your external network

It can be all to easy in the rush to make an impact in a new role to drop some of your other external commitments. Remember though that connections outside the organisation can offer you a welcome break and you will be far more successful if you maintain your wider social connections.

10 Consider a Coach

Many of the things you need to work on and think about in your first 100 days are not something you will want to discuss with your manager or even colleagues.

You may have an internal coaching or mentoring program offered by your employer. Or you can use an external coach, either for a one-off planning session or a series of meetings over your first 100 days – ending with a forward planning session to set you first year goals.

A coach can help you to build all your essential elements in your first 100 day plan and then help to hold you accountable in sticking to it.

A coach can help you to understand yourself better, your strengths and weaknesses and how you can best match them to the role.

Remember you don’t have to work this all out alone – there are people who want to help you to succeed. Contact me if you would like to discuss your 100 day plan.

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