Your First 100 Days: Not All Days Are Created Equal

05.06.2020 |

Episode #9 of the course Managing your manager by Jordan Thibodeau and Joe Ternasky


“Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.” —George Eliot


Welcome to our final lesson!

Now that we have explored how to constructively manage your manager at your current job, it’s time to cover how to make a stunning first impression if and when you move on to your next. In this lesson, we will be laying out your ideal first 100 days at a new job.

As mentioned in the beginning of this course, you can find the last exercise for the Managing Your Manager Journal here.

These first three or so months are extremely important because this is when your new managers and colleagues will form their first impressions of you. This is also the time when you must solidify what your goals in your organization will be—what projects you want to take on, what projects you can take on, and what exactly you plan to accomplish in your new position.


Building Momentum in the First 100 Days

During your first 100 days in a new role, it’s crucial that you foster trust between yourself and your new colleagues by building momentum through consecutive early successes. Proving your competence will inspire your coworkers to work with you on challenging projects and your manager to afford you additional resources to freely tackle what you hope to achieve. In order to develop this kind of momentum in your workplace, there are several key steps that you ought to follow:

Step 1. Create a list of the key people you must meet. These could be stakeholders, clients, colleagues, managers of other teams, or even the CEO.

Step 2. Create a list of the things you can ask or talk to these key people about. As you tackle this list, a brief list of goals you have to accomplish in the organization should start to form. You’ll likely notice something that all key people in the organization have in common, and you can incorporate this knowledge into your daily work routine.

Step 3. Add new topics and names to these lists as you make progress completing them. When you feel like new topics are not as important and are no longer learning much from the new people you meet, the process will wind down on its own.

Step 4. Discuss your career goals with your new direct manager. Your manager should be your direct point of contact for most any information related to the organization, and this is the time to build an excellent rapport with them.

Step 5. Ask your manager questions to show them that you’re willing to go the extra mile to deliver quality results. It might seem like an obvious gesture, but a surprising number of employees go through their first few weeks at a company without asking a single question that isn’t absolutely necessary. Prove to your new manager that you aren’t one of these people by inquiring about anything that comes to your mind. Just don’t be repetitive. These first few weeks may be thought of as your “grace period,” and you will be more easily forgiven for any mistakes you make while you’re still considered a “new hire” or a “trainee.”

Step 6. Make a list at the end of your first day of the hurdles you might face later on at work. What are the biggest challenges you will face? This is important to think about because it will help you establish what aspects of your new job you’ll need to focus on, as well as which areas you will need additional help to excel in.

Step 7. Return to these lists every couple of days during your first 100 days and update them. If there are any key people to whom you aren’t introduced, make it known that you wish to meet them, and network with them.


To Do

There is no assignment associated with this lesson—instead, you should spend the time you would’ve spent completing coursework to do something you truly enjoy. You deserve it! You have just completed this course and learned a valuable set of skills that will help you seamlessly fit in (while singularly standing out) in your workplace. You can achieve truly spectacular heights in your career just by remembering to manage your manager.

If you enjoyed this course, consider enrolling in another! We’ve made several other Highbrow courses that may help you excel at your career:

“Building a network for success”

“Bouncing back from failure”

“Mastering your conversations”

“How to accomplish your goals”

Finally, if you would like to give us your feedback for this course, be added to our newsletter for supplemental course material, or be notified of our upcoming courses, please visit

Best of luck with your professional endeavors and goodbye for now,

Jordan and Joe

Managing Your Manager Teachers


Recommended book

The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter, Updated and Expanded by Michael D. Watkins


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