Lately the career blogs have been abuzz with the “30-60-90 day plan”, encouraging job seekers to incorporate it into their strategy when preparing for an interview. Truly there is a great deal of merit for the idea of the 30-60-90 day plan, but only if used correctly. In order to determine how to best use this tool as part of your job search arsenal, we need to have a clear understanding of what the 30-60-90 days plan is.
The 30-60-90 day plan is, in its most basic form, your personal action plan for the first 30, 60, and 90 days on a job. The purpose of it is to outline what your goals are for the job once offered to you, and it allows the employers an additional way to assess you and your suitability for the job. Initially, it will allow the employer to gauge your critical thinking skills as well as your current knowledge of the company and its needs. Once offered the job, this will be one of the standards by which you are evaluated, as a 90 days probation period is standard for most positions.
So, what should be included in your plan?
The answer to that differs from company to company based on what type of job you are pursuing. Obviously, a plan for an office-based position (such as an administrative assistant or a call center customer service representative) would be significantly different from the plan developed for a technical skills-based position (such as a maintenance crew member or landscaper). Still, regardless of the specific type of position you are applying for, there are some basic components that all good plans should have in common:
30 Days – In the 30 days section of your plan, you should include information on learning the company, including its systems, people, culture, procedures, and customers. This will allow you to truly gain a clear understanding of the company that you work for and your specific role in the everyday functioning of the company, no matter how large or small that role may be. Employers value this in employees, because it creates “buy-in” on the behalf of the employee to the overall company goals, which has been shown to translate into better performance over time.
60 Days – In the 60 days component of the plan, you should begin outlining how you plan to continue to assess the company, as well as how you will begin to use your strengths to capitalize on opportunities for improvement that they may have. This will show an employer that you have the potential to be a valuable resource to them, and it shows that you have critical thinking and observation skills – both of which are those higher-level learning skills that employers value.
90 Days – In the 90 days section of your plan, you should include how you will take what you have learned over your time with the company, and how you will put it into action. This sections should answer the question of how you will meet the goals outlined in your job description, and will be the benchmark by which you are judged going into the 90 day evaluation.
One thing that should be included within all three sections of your plan, regardless of your area of work, is to identify a mentor. It is important to remember that a mentor should be someone who has experience within the company, and if possible, within the job that you’re applying for. The person should also be one who exemplifies a keen understanding of company culture, and of their role in the company. A mentor can be an invaluable resource for you throughout your career with this company and with any others that you may move on to. It also shows the company that you are serious about your professional development, which is always a plus!