I will be starting a new job soon as a software engineer at Better, and I want to have a clear plan for how I want my onboarding to go. I’m going to use a 30/60/90 day plan for this, and its purpose is for me to set goals for what I want to achieve in my new position by the 30, 60, and 90 day marks.
If you’re starting a new job, having your own personal onboarding roadmap is a good way to help keep yourself focused on the things that matter to you to be happy and successful in your new role. The first few weeks and months at a new job are filled with so much new information, so having a plan of action helps filter and organize all of it. Your HR department and your new manager will most likely also have ideas on what your onboarding will look like - and you should absolutely include those ideas in your roadmap - but creating a roadmap that is personalized to you can be super valuable.
For each of the milestones, I created three buckets to categorize my different goals:
- Learning/Performance Goals
- Initiative Goals
- Personal Goals
Most of onboarding is learning new information. About the company, about your responsibilities, about your teammates, about the engineering department, about other departments, about skills you need to learn, etc. All of this information is ultimately trying to get you to a place where you can write code, review code, debug, and design new software solutions at a high level.
The learning/performance goals for the first 30 days at a new company are probably going to be mainly filling in the “you don’t know what you don’t know” gaps. By day 60, you should be using the information from the first 30 days as a jumping off point and help set you up for continued success. The 90 day learning/performance goals are meant to solidify yourself as someone who can deliver results.
Here are my 30/60/90 day learning/performance goals:
- Understand my manager’s expectations of me in my role
- Understand the team’s scope of work
- Understand how customers use all part of the company’s software
- Understand the roles of the members of my team
- Understand the team’s processes (meetings, git workflow, code review, testing, deployment, etc.)
- Understand my weakest competencies for the role
- Understand who to talk to for different question domains (tech, process, HR, culture, etc.)
- Understand the organization hierarchy and all departments in the company
- Understand how much time during the work week I can use for professional
- Complete required onboarding trainings
- Setup my dev environment
- Voice one thought or question during every meeting
- Make at least one code contribution every week
- Understand how to perform at an exceptional level
- Understand the software design philosophies being used
- Research/practice one of my weakest competencies
- Read one technical book relevant to my role
- Be comfortable navigating all parts of the codebase
- Complete at least one medium-sized task
- Discuss my progress with my manager
- Create plan for addressing all of my weakest competencies
- Be comfortable picking up engineering tasks of any size
Starting a new job is a chance to share your knowledge and skills with the company and bring new perspective to the issues they are facing. It’s an opportunity to establish yourself as someone who goes above and beyond. The intiative goals you set for yourself may push you out of your comfort zone, but hopefully you can lead some great changes for your new company.
- Make a documentation contribution
- Read several company engineering blogs
- Identify and improve one team process
- Build a useful utility for the team
- Write a blog post for the company engineering blog
- Talk with my manager about current and possible future diversity & inclusion efforts
- Present at a lunch & learn
- Create a plan for driving blog contributions
- Shadow someone from a department I work closely with
We spend a lot of our time at work, and the people we are surrounded with on a daily basis are a large part of our job happiness and success. I’m not a natural extrovert, so I have to be conscious about putting myself out there to make new friends. That’s where personal goals come in. Here are the personal goals in my roadmap:
- Have coffee/lunch with someone on my direct team
- Attend a work social event / ERG meeting
- Have coffee/lunch with an engineer on another team
- Have coffee/lunch with a non-engineer
The goal of the 30/60/90 day onboarding roadmap is not to have a rigid structure to everything you do during your onboarding process. I know that my roadmpa is going to change; I might remove some goals that aren’t actually relevant for my new role, I might achieve some goals earlier than expected and some later than expected, and I will definitely be adding new goals as I become more familiar with the company and my job. So instead of thinking of it as a checklist, think of your own roadmap as a guide to help you sift through all the information you’ll be inundated with during the onboarding process. This is a time for you to set yourself up for success and happiness in your new job!