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How to make an impact in your first 90 days in a new job


Updated: 11 Mar 2015

The first 90 days of a new leadership role are the most important and over this period of time business leaders must look to make the right kind of impact, according to recruiting experts Hays in Hong Kong.

For those looking to make their first impressions count recruiting expert Hays’ CEO, Alistair Cox, gives this advice in his latest LinkedIn Influencer blog.

Drawing from his own experience, Alistair says, “Start planning how you are going to make your presence count well before you arrive. The clock starts ticking from day one, but you can work on your change plan well before you walk in the door to ensure every one of those first 90 days counts”.

There are two popular routes adopted by many leaders when entering a new business. There is the “watch and learn” method where leaders take time to learn about the business before making any major changes, while others prefer to take immediate action by embedding themselves in the business quickly and implementing changes early on.

Alistair says, “Every organisation and situation is unique, of course, so there’s not necessarily any right or wrong answer. The wait and see approach might work for some businesses, whereas the immediate action approach could be right for others”.

The first 90 days of a new leadership role provide the best opportunity to let the business understand why the new leader is there and what their agenda is. Alistair advises to, “Get those messages out early and consistently, and try to do as much of it face to face as you can so you can better start the dialogue that will lead to the necessary changes you'll make. Leaders by definition have followers and now is your chance to start building the following you'll need.”

It is during these 90 days that a leader will be given the most leeway in terms of the actions they may want to undertake. The business is also more likely to be open to change, as change is almost expected.

“Remember, you are dealing with human beings who want to know what is in store. They expect you to do something that places your stamp on the business, and they are watching and interpreting your every move. Make their lives easier and just tell them, and then deliver your changes while they are still expecting something to happen”, says Alistair.

There is only one opportunity to make a first impression. Alistair says, “When you are next moving into a new leadership role in any organisation, do everything you can to map out how you can make your honeymoon period count”.

Hays is located in Hong Kong at Unit 5803-7, The Centre, 99 Queen's Road Central, Hong Kong. Phone +852 2521 8884or email


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