I'm 90 days into my new role and I'm failing

Posting date: 05 Sep 2023

Starting a new role can be both exciting and challenging. As the initial excitement wears off, it's not uncommon to feel overwhelmed and doubt your abilities. In the first 90 days, it's unrealistic to expect a mastery of your new role. However, it's essential to take stock of your progress, identify areas of improvement, and set yourself up for success. In this blog, we will explore why 90 days may not be a realistic timeframe to gauge success and discuss strategies to prioritise and get things on track. 

90 days is not enough

While it's natural to seek validation and measure progress early on, 90 days is often insufficient to fully grasp the complexities of a new role. It takes time to understand the organisational dynamics, build relationships, and develop a deep knowledge of the business. Recognising this, it's important to shift your mindset and view the initial period as a learning and adaptation phase rather than a make-or-break evaluation.

Prioritising for success

To navigate the challenges of a new role effectively, here are key areas to prioritise...

Understand the Situation: Take the time to thoroughly assess the challenges and opportunities within your role and the organisation. This understanding will serve as a foundation for developing your action plan.

Create a 90-Day Plan: A well-crafted plan can help you promote yourself, align your strategy with the organisational context, accelerate your learning, secure early wins, and build coalitions. Break down your goals into manageable milestones and set realistic expectations for what you can achieve within your first 90 days. 

Assess your strengths & weaknesses: Self-awareness is crucial for success. Identify your strengths and leverage them to make a positive impact. Equally important is recognizing your weaknesses and developing strategies to address them. Seek feedback from colleagues and supervisors to gain valuable insights.

Leverage Ideas, Energy, Relationships, and Influence: Generating innovative ideas, exhibiting enthusiasm, and building strong relationships can help you create new patterns within the organisation. Cultivate your influence by showcasing your credibility and effectiveness in delivering results.

Influence Others and Build Momentum: As you start gaining traction, focus on influencing others to join your initiatives. Showcasing early wins and demonstrating your value will help you build momentum and expand your reach within the organisation.

If you're 90 days into a new role and feeling like you're failing, remember that it's not uncommon to face challenges during this transitional phase. Rather than dwelling on perceived failures, reframe your mindset and approach. Set realistic expectations, prioritise understanding the situation, create a well-defined action plan, leverage your strengths, and build relationships to influence others positively. Embrace the learning journey and give yourself the time needed to grow and succeed in your new role. Remember, it's a marathon, not a sprint.

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