I have the happy news that three people have just started new jobs – jobs that meet their Must Have Lists!

Because they’ve been out of work for a while (one for almost a year, the others for six+ months), the three people are understandably nervous about how to be successful in this new gig. I suggested that they create some goals for themselves using this framework.

At the end of 90 days, and at the end of a year:

  1. What do you want to be known for?
  2. What tangible or measurable outcomes do you want to have accomplished?
  3. How do you want others to perceive you and feel about you?
  4. How do you want to feel about yourself in this specific area?

The answers to these questions can help you set priorities for yourself and organize your efforts and energy to achieve these outcomes.

What are some possible answers?

Go back to your Must Have List to remember your values, the kind of work and activities you love to do, the standards you have for yourself, the kind of culture you wanted to work in, and the kind of outcomes that make you happiest and proudest. This gives you clues for answering these questions.

In my case, after 90 days, some of what I’d want is: to be known as someone who delivers more than I promise, who starts and ends meetings on time, who has integrity, and a good sense of humor. I’d want to meet all my staff and established my standards and priorities, as well as a regular schedule of meetings with my direct reports and leadership team. I will have met many of the key stakeholders and accurately assessed the power dynamics of the organization and begun to make strategic relationships. I’d want to identify some easy early wins to demonstrate my grasp of the subject matter. And I’d have a plan for the next 9 months, with buy-in from the necessary players.

Planning like this can also help with your job search. For example:

  • What do you want to be known for by your network and prospective employers?
  • How do you want to feel about yourself during the search?
  • What tangible outcomes do you want to achieve within 90 days? 6 months?

Structure and forethought really help you achieve your goals.