How to Write a 30-60-90 Day Plan to Tackle Your Career Goals
Have you ever wondered how senior execs rose to the top echelons at your company? Or rather, how a job offer just slipped away from your grasp?
In both instances, a 30-60-90 day plan, or a lack thereof, might be the reason.
With such a plan you’re likely to either navigate a constantly shifting work environment, get hired or promoted and knock your career goals out of the park!
And the best thing about it: crafting your own is as easy as 1-2-3, or in this case, 30-60-90.
So, if you’re interested in boosting your own bottom-line while also adding value to your company, read on to learn how you can leverage the 30-60-90 day planning process to accomplish your own career goals.
What is a 30-60-90 Day Plan?
It’s a set of plans that builds upon each successive strategic initiative for a total period of 90 days. Goals and strategies are created for each 30 day period.
Here’s what it might look like in the scenarios of an interview and a performance review.
30-60-90 Day Plan During a Performance Review
Just say you’ve had an onboarding with a firm, or you’ve had a less-than savory performance review.
First 30 Days
In the first 30 days, you’re plan will be to take a step back and play an observational role. Put another way, you should seek to understand more fully all those new or old processes, people, procedures, products and competitors that you will be interacting with on a day-to-day basis.
Next 30 Days
Next in the following 30-day cycle (now totaling 60 days from your taking on a new role or reinvesting in a new you), you should analyze and evaluate everything that you saw with a critical eye to see whether or not changes need to be made along with how you can best add value.
Last 30 Days
Finally, for the last 30 days, you need to implement, control and optimize any action plans or new procedures you put forth. The most important bit to this part is document, document and document all the value you’ve added to the company.
This can look like recording and quantifying all the wealth you’ve helped the company generate and save operationally.
With this knowledge in hand, you’ll be able to go into your review cycle with hard data, giving you a much higher chance of landing a promotion while also letting management know of your impact.
30-60-90 Day Plan During an Interview
If you’re approaching a critical interview, then leveraging the 30-60-90 day plan can convey to hiring managers that you exhibit long-term, strategic thinking and a creative mindset.
The process looks exactly the same as the above, but you’ll need the right content. For this, it’s critical that you seek a mentor, or a professional who’s currently working or had experience in a role similar to your targeted role. This ensures your plan is relevant and authentic. Linkedin is a great medium for professionals seeking out information!
When it comes to presenting your plan to both hiring managers and during a performance review, being creative might make a difference. A lot of companies may have a template they prefer you follow, but for most an infographic or kanban chart shows the hiring manager or promotion board your willing to think outside the box.
All this being said, you’re likely going to need a lot more direction in crafting your own plan.
How to Write Your 30-60-90 Day Plan
If you’re ready to brainstorm and write your strategic employment goals with a 30-60-90 day plan, then make sure to incorporate these underlying themes across each time frame, whether you’re a potential new hire or mid-careerist.
30 Day: Observe
- Take an inward-looking, growth-focused mindset.
- Develop at least five SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely) goals that tie you to the organization’s fiscally-driven forecasts
- Seek advice from a mentor (at work or outside), and if possible, keep them informed when/if your KPIs change
- Grow your responsibilities and skills, and document them so that they can be quickly presented to your mentor or, worse case, written into your resume should you need to find another job later on.
- E.g. Conduct one two-hour session each week where you partner with a key stakeholder to learn his/her job and how you can make their workday easier.
60 Day: Analyze
- Begin to shift your inward-facing review outward in order to identify key strengths, opportunities, threats, and weaknesses (SWOT) of the business.
- Once you identify some opportunities for the business, reassess your SMART goals and make sure they’re aligned with the business.
- E.g. Increase company’s accounts payable by 15 days and renegotiate with key suppliers based on projected materials and inventory costs in the coming 18-months.
- If all seems well within your new division, ask your mentor to help you come up with an on-the-job training (OJT) training plan so that you can learn more about the business
- Continue to update your infographic or kanban chart so that your manager knows you are being proactive when it comes to your growth within the corporation.
90 Day: Optimize
- After observing for 30 days and then evaluating for an additional month-long period, it’s time to either lean out a process already in place or try to reduce waste within your organization. Before making suggestions, however, make sure you have facts and hard data to support them.
- Make long-term timelines or Gantt charts that show you are committed to stakeholder wealth generation and not just your own short-term wins
- Ask about professional certification programs
- Look to onboard your own mentee or help other new hires or mid-level managers by hosting meetups or lunch-and-learns.
So, all of that said, even if your annual review was unsatisfactory or your last project went off the rails, a 30-60-90 day plan in which you recommit to your continuous professional development is always a great alternative.
What’s most important about this process is that it paints you as authentic and truly committed to your organization.
If that doesn’t sound like you, well, then it might just be time to start over with a fresh set of goals and to realign your dynamic workday around the needs of your boss, coworkers, and business in general.