Create Success In Your First 90 Days on Any Job

Sean L Adams
4 min readAug 21, 2021


Hint: Be Confident In You

Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

In light of the Great Resignation, many people are starting new roles; for some of these new hires, they’re shifting careers or entering their dream job. I wrote this article some years ago, but it’s worth revisiting.

One of my colleagues had just started a new job and ran into some first 90-day trials. Team members see her as the new girl, and all her great ideas are taken lightly. She also sees herself as the lowest person of importance.

The first 90-days of a new job can be stressful or exhilarating. It depends on how you look at things. In this post, we’ll walk through how to use a positive self-outlook and a simple strategy to succeed in the first 90 days of any new role.

A Positive View of Self

It’s easy to look at yourself as others do. Think of little girls who are perfect in every way. After a couple of mean kids at school and pictures in magazines tell them otherwise, they start to doubt their self-worth.

The first 90 days of a new job are like drinking from a fire hydrant. You are trying so hard to learn everything at once it is easy to doubt yourself. It’s equally easy to see yourself — as many might — as the newest and least qualified person to speak on any decision being made. But this shouldn’t be the case!

Photo by Katrina Wright on Unsplash

Doubting yourself isn’t going to get you anywhere you want to be. You are new; thus, you have great ideas from an external point of view. It is essential to provide the value of an outsider to internal processes before you start drinking the organization’s proverbial Kool-aid.

Put it into action: Look at yourself as the doe-eyed new person with fresh ideas that you have seen success elsewhere. Not every idea will be a home run, so be willing to separate yourself from your ideas. You can be an intelligent person with a dumb idea.

Most times, however, your ideas are great! How do you gain the interest and respect of critical team members? Simple, you listen — listen to your teams and customers and put that listening to good use.

Photo by Leon on Unsplash

Listening Changes Your Story

I love telling my kids stories. I usually make them up. I noticed when I give the characters my kid’s names; Prince Sean and Princess Sherry-Berries, I spark their interests and hold their attention for a more extended time. The story becomes more valuable and personal.

Making value-based decisions with the customers in mind creates buy-in from others. In addition, using the input of your teams leverages their knowledge which helps to make better decisions. Add their suggestions to the story of the new processes you’re selling to create change.

Put it into action: You were not hired because of your looks alone (smiling is still a winning strategy). You have the skill-set, the understanding, and a host of successful experiences which add value to your new organization. You know the processes you are suggesting work, and that will add validity to your plans. Bring the story home to your new audience, include their ideas into your tried and true processes. Integrating new characters into the story you’re telling is how you put wheels on the listening you’ve done and make your thoughts more valuable.

Now you are not just some newbie tossing out ideas. You are the person who got stuff done with success throughout your career. You are the person who listens, cares, and is knowledgeable of the new organization’s story, culture, and processes. See yourself in the best light, be willing to learn, and you can rock not only the first 90 days but the coming nine years in any role.

Hi, I’m Sean L. Adams. Over the last 15 years, I have led product management teams for several industry-leading companies in the healthcare space. As a Sr. Product Leader, I build the requirements that move products forward and empower users’ success. I also enabled sales organizations to meet objectives and help firms tell a focused and compelling story.