BlogJob InterviewsWhat Is a 30-60-90 Day Plan & How to Create It

What Is a 30-60-90 Day Plan & How to Create It

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You’re in the final stages of the interviewing process, or you’ve already gotten the job and are only getting the hang of the situation when you’ve been tasked with creating a 30-60-90 day plan.

The bad news is that you might not have a clue what that is. The good news is that a 30-60-90 day plan is fairly simple to create, and it’s one of the best ways to hit the ground running at work.

In this article, we’ll teach you exactly what a 30-60-90 day plan is, what makes it good, and how you can create one to suit your needs best. Let’s dive right in!

What Is a 30-60-90 Plan?

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A 30-60-90 day plan is a robust 3-month framework that shapes your goals and actions during the initial period of your new job. It’s an important plan for those looking for a new job, fresh employees, or those transitioning to a new role, as well as their managers or employers.

It outlines the transitional period toward taking on new tasks and responsibilities or joining new large-scale projects. The program serves as a roadmap that guides individuals to help them adapt to new teams and circumstances, improve their performance in a short period of time, and align their objectives with organizational goals.

The plan embodies a proactive approach to work and professional development. Candidates who have a 30-60-90 day plan outlined during the interview stage of their hiring process can get an edge over the competition by showcasing drive and initiative.

This is particularly prominent for high-level roles, where applicants are expected to have ideas and actionable plans ready before they even start working. Furthermore, hiring managers can ask candidates to make a 30-60-90 day plan both for an interview and after they’ve been hired.

When Should You Create a 30-60-90 Day Plan?

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Two common instances when you should create a 30-60-90 day plan are when you’ve just gotten a new job or when you’re in the final stages of the interview process.

#1. 30-60-90 Day Plan for a New Job

Creating a 30-60-90 day plan for a new job helps you navigate the onboarding period and the first three months at a new company. It’s a great tool for focusing, aligning your priorities with the organization’s, setting clear and attainable goals, and tracking your progress.

In some instances, managers can explicitly ask you to create a 30-60-90 day plan for yourself. In these cases, you’ll likely already have access to the required information and resources that can help you come up with a solid plan.

The more detailed, precise, and realistic plan you have, the higher the chances that you successfully complete all its components. If you have any uncertainties while writing it, you can always ask colleagues and supervisors. That’ll show your proactive side and help you get a running start.

#2. 30-60-90 Day Plan for an Interview

Writing a 30-60-90 day plan for an interview usually happens during the later stages of the hiring process, typically for high-level positions. It can show hiring managers how well you understand their company and whether you’re ready to take on the challenges that come with the role that you’re applying for.

It can even come up as one of the tricky interview questions, where hiring managers can ask you for a general idea of what your plans for your first, second, and third month in their organization are. That’s why it’s beneficial to come up with a 30-60-90 day plan for managers and executives beforehand, as it can help differentiate you from other candidates.

What Should a 30-60-90 Day Plan Contain?

Let’s find out what the key elements are that every 30-60-90 day plan should contain.

#1. Goals

Goals are a vital part of any plan. They set clear objectives, helping you direct your efforts in the right way. Your 30-60-90 day plan goals should align with the company’s objectives and your role in it. 

#2. Focus

The focus of the plan broadly defines what your attention should be directed toward. For example, your focus in the first 30 days can be to understand the company’s culture. The next 30 days can be about starting to work optimally and implementing the right strategies. In the final month, you can focus on optimization and reaching your full potential.

#3. Priorities

By using your 30-60-90 day plan to set priorities, you can optimally allocate time and resources to those tasks and efforts that will bring you to your goals as quickly and effortlessly as possible. Leverage your prioritization skills to program everything from working on projects or networking with colleagues to developing the required abilities to excel at your role.

#4. Metrics

The best way to ensure you’ve completed your goals is to use relevant metrics to track your progress. Various metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) are used to evaluate performance and gauge the impact your efforts have. They can help you understand how well you’re performing and whether you’re on track to achieving your objectives.

How to Write a 30-60-90 Day Plan

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Now that we know the basics, let’s learn how to write a 30-60-90 day plan from scratch.

#1. Identify Focus

Identifying focus is the first step in creating a good 30-60-90 day plan. This represents the plan’s core and dictates in what direction you’ll be moving. The focus can change every 30 days as you progress and reach created goals.

This step includes research and analysis, as you should first establish whether you’re crafting a plan for personal development or aligning it with the company’s needs. Then, you can determine whether your focus is going to be on mastering a skill, building interpersonal relationships, integrating into the company, getting up to speed with their projects, and more.

#2. Determine Priorities

Once you have identified the focus, you should determine your priorities for each phase of your plan. Priorities should be more defined and deliberate than your focus but still broader than specific goals.

By determining priorities, you’ll know how to allocate your time and direct your efforts for optimal results. Priorities will help you concentrate on those tasks that have the most impact and will get you to your goals the quickest.

#3. Identify Targets for 30 Days

One of the best methods of identifying targets for the first 30 days (and, subsequently, for the 60 and 90 days afterward) is the SMART goals method. SMART is an acronym that stands for setting goals that are:

SMART Goal Method

  • Specific and clearly defined

  • Measurable, making it easy to track their progress

  • Achievable within the allotted time period

  • Relevant to personal long-term aspirations or company goals

  • Time-based and created with a realistic deadline, leaning on your time management skills

By following these guidelines, you can create a concise and actionable 30-day plan and start working on it immediately.

#4. Identify Targets for 60 Days

Transitioning from the initial 30-day plan to the 60-day one will involve shifting focus and reevaluating priorities. Your targets will change while taking into account everything learned and accomplished during the initial period.

At this point, you’ll likely be able to take on bigger projects and have more complex goals. You can also begin improving your collaboration with the team and communication with supervisors and management. Your plan will involve steps that make meaningful contributions and tangible impacts on the organization’s goals.

#5. Identify Targets for 90 Days

The last 30 days of your 30-60-90 day plan should solidify your position within the organization as an established and capable professional. Your focus should now be on refining proven strategies and maximizing your output.

You can still use the SMART method, but your goals can now be more ambitious. They can reflect your desire to integrate with the team fully, take on organizational roles, manage projects, and more.

30-60-90 Day Plan Template

Here’s an easy-to-use 30-60-90 day plan template that you can simply copy and paste if you don’t want to create one from scratch:

30-60-90 Day Plan Template

30-60-90 Day Plan

Created by: [Your name] Created for (optional): [Manager’s or employer’s name, company name] Date: [MM/DD/YYYY]

Days 1-30/31-60/61-90

Focus: [Your focus for the first month] Priorities: [Your priorities for the first month]

Learning Goals

  • [First goal] (Metric: [How you plan on measuring your first goal])

  • [Second goal] (Metric: [How you plan on measuring your second goal])

  • [Third goal] (Metric: [How you plan on measuring your third goal])

Performance Goals

  • [First goal] (Metric: [How you plan on measuring your first goal])

  • [Second goal] (Metric: [How you plan on measuring your second goal])

  • [Third goal] (Metric: [How you plan on measuring your third goal])

Personal Goals

  • [First goal] (Metric: [How you plan on measuring your first goal])

  • [Second goal] (Metric: [How you plan on measuring your second goal])

  • [Third goal] (Metric: [How you plan on measuring your third goal])

30-60-90 Day Plan Example

Let’s use the previously outlined template to give you a complete 30-60-90 day plan example.

30-60-90 Day Plan Example

Days 1-30

Created by: John Smith Date: 03/01/2024

Days 1-30

Focus: Learning.

Priorities: Acclimate to the company culture, learn the role better, and understand the expectations management and employers have for me.

Learning Goals

  • Read the provided materials to gain comprehensive knowledge of the company’s culture and services. (Metric: Reading finished)

  • Gain access to all the relevant accounts, platforms, and software needed for the job. (Metric: Tasks completed)

  • Have an onboarding meeting with the management team (Metric: Meeting completed)

Performance Goals

  • Make the first sales calls. (Metric: Three calls completed)

  • Ask for feedback on performance. (Metric: Task completed)

Personal Goals

  • Introduce myself to coworkers and learn about them. (Metric: Seven coworkers connected with)

  • Begin contributing to team meetings and discussions. (Metric: [How you plan on measuring your second goal])

Days 31-60

Date: 06/01/2024

Days 31-60

Focus: Contributing.

Priorities: Start working independently and perform at my full capacity.

Learning Goals

  • Expand my knowledge of the company’s services with a focus on role-specific information. (Metric: Reading finished)

Performance Goals

  • Make ten sales calls a week. (Metric: Forty calls completed)

  • Analyze five of my recorded calls to look for ways to improve. (Metric: Five calls analyzed)

  • Ask colleagues and managers for feedback. (Metric: Five conversations completed) 

Personal Goals

  • Have a lunch break with a coworker I haven’t met yet. (Metric: Task completed)

Days 61-90

Date: 09/01/2024

Days 61-90

Focus: Taking initiative.

Priorities: Completely understand the role and take full ownership of my responsibilities. Optimize my performance and start creating long-term plans.

Learning Goals

  • Look for a conference opportunity to get up to speed on the latest trends in the industry. (Metric: Signed up for a conference)

Performance Goals

  • Perform at the highest level and up to the company’s standards. (Metric: To be discussed)

  • Come up with an idea for a new project to pitch to the upper management. (Metric: Task completed)

Personal Goals

  • Join the company’s sports team for a monthly game. (Metric: Task completed)

Benefits of Creating a 30-60-90 Plan

A 30-60-90 day plan offers numerous benefits to both new employees and their managers. Some of the key ones include:

Benefits of Creating a 30-60-90 Plan

  • Organized onboarding. A solid 30-60-90 day plan creates a structured roadmap for new employees, helping them stay on track. This can improve the overall experience, reduce anxiety, and expedite the process.

  • Enhanced communication. Having a clear and actionable plan allows employees and management to stay synchronized. It facilitates communication between them, creates transparency, and helps build trust.

  • Performance tracking. Clearly outlined goals and metrics make it easy to track performance. This makes it easy for individuals to know how they are performing and allows management to give them more precise feedback.

  • Personal growth. By following a 30-60-90 day plan, individuals are continuously learning and improving themselves. Moreover, they can see their progress in real time, which further increases motivation, and leads to personal satisfaction and career growth.

4 Tips for Creating a 30-60-90 Plan

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Let’s finish this comprehensive guide with a couple of expert tips that will help you create an outstanding 30-60-90 day plan.

#1. Think Long-Term

Long-term thinking is essential in the business world. While a 30-60-90 day plan outlines the first three months of your new job, its objectives should align with your long-term aspirations and the company’s strategic goals.

You should take a moment to identify what your career goals are and what is expected of you at your new workplace. That way, the skills, experiences, and results obtained during the first 90 days are guaranteed to contribute to your ongoing professional journey and development.

#2. Aim to Be Flexible

Flexibility is invaluable when creating plans. While precise goals, accurate metrics, and exact deadlines ensure that you stay on track, they can shift and change due to various unforeseen circumstances.

You need to be prepared to respond to any changes, adapt your strategy, adjust your goals, and reevaluate your priorities. That’s the best way to be efficient at work and to ensure that your current efforts contribute to overarching goals.

#3. Ask Questions

Whether you’re coming up with 30-60-90 plan ideas for an interview or you’re writing one after getting the job, you should ask questions to gather enough information and make your plan spotless.

Anything from finding out what’s expected of someone in your position to learning about the KPIs and average daily tasks can help you better understand what you’ll need to accomplish.

#4. Set SMART Goals

Leverage the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-based) method to ensure that your goals are optimal. This approach will make them easy to understand and follow, you’ll know how to track your progress, figure out whether you’re behind on something, etc.

Key Takeaways

As you can see, a 30-60-90 day plan is more than a list of guidelines to follow. It’s a strategic tool that helps new employees get up to speed in a new work environment and develop on a personal and professional level.

On the other hand, this concept helps hiring managers and employers onboard new hires. It provides a robust framework that can be used for teaching, providing feedback, and ensuring new employees integrate into the company and its culture optimally.

Ultimately, crafting this plan is simple once you know the basics and have a template. The rules remain the same whether you’re writing a 30-60-90 day plan for a sales position, managerial role, or something else entirely. Use this tool to its full potential, and it’ll propel your career to new heights!

Kervin Peterson
Kervin Peterson
Career Coach
Whether you need help preparing for an interview, optimizing your LinkedIn profile, or creating a resume, you can rest assured that our dear Kervin Peterson can help! Kervin is a man who can turn obstacles into experience with his eyes closed, always striving to bring the most to the table. Other than being a career coach, he’s a new dad and loves nothing more than hitting the gym and spending time with his family!

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