If you do a google search for “how to build a 30 60 90 day plan” you will get a bunch of misguided information and some random thoughts masquerading as best practices. Many of the so-called experts publishing this content are trying to sell products and services by dishing out click bait caliber advice that’s likely to do more harm than good for your career. It’s very rare to find a 30 60 90 day plan template created by and actual proven business leader or hiring manager – the individuals who make the hiring decisions and evaluate your performance over the first 3 months on the job.
In this blog I’m going to answer some of the most common questions I get about the 30 60 90 day plan. At the end of the blog you’ll find links to access my free plan template as well as templates personalized for Sales and Leadership roles. These are the templates I built and use in my own career, and they all include a fully built, easily customized 30 60 90 day plan example.
I’m sure it goes without saying, but with so much change happening in our businesses and careers right now, there are many uses for a solid 30-60-90 day plan. Whether you’re trying to differentiate yourself from other candidates in a job search or starting a new role or project at your current job, a great plan is critical.
Here are the questions I get asked most about these plans:
There are three occasions when you should use a 30 60 90 day plan. The first is in the final stages of the interview process. The right plan can help you differentiate from other candidates by demonstrating your capacity to think clearly and operationalize a strategy. You also want to build a plan before the end of your first week at a new job. It’s a critical tool to set yourself up for success and ultimately future promotions and pay raises. The last, is at the beginning of a new project or initiative. Before I kick off any big project I always start by presenting my boss a plan to show when we’ll see results and how we’ll measure them.
This is where most of the advice on the Internet has it wrong. Most articles, make the critical mistake of thinking that the plan is designed to guide YOU. It’s not. The 30-60-90 day plan has nothing to do with helping you “get up to speed” or “hit the ground running” and everything to do with aligning your boss and management team to a definition and framework for success. It’s designed so your hiring will be declared an unequivocal success after 3 months by the people who matter most to your career. It’s not about making sure you focus on learning or training or any of the other bad advice out there. No one cares about that. The purpose of this plan is to set the foundation for career advancement.
When built correctly, this plan gets everyone aligned to a common definition of what success looks like so you can guarantee you’ll leave the first 90 days on pace to your next promotion.
I’ve already covered the first big mistake people make – they build these plans for themselves instead of to align others to a definition of success. The next biggest mistake people make is not being precise enough in their plans. You have to get way beyond surface-level points like “meeting with key people” or “executing company orientation”. These are table stakes activities that you’ll get fired for if you DON’T complete them – there are no points to be scored here.
Your plan needs to include measurable deliverables that have actual value to the company. A few examples of what I mean: 1) Auditing and optimizing one key process 2) Implementing one new program to demonstrate the effectiveness of your process improvement. 3) Assessing key team member capabilities aligned to the process.
Another mistake people make is not being clear about what things you’re actually going to deliver and when. There needs to be some way of scoring your success or failure and a clear project plan with tasks and deliverables is a good way to accomplish that.
A good plan template always has the following components:
There are three plan templates available for download. Each includes a free 30 60 90 day plan example.
If you want a basic template in PowerPoint format with example content, you can download it for free here. It is undoubtedly the best free template on the internet and has been used by more than 50,000 people. Download the free template here.
If you’re in a Sales or Sales leadership role, you should get my 30 60 90 day template for Sales. For only $21.99 you get a fully customized Sales-oriented template that includes territory planning, revenue attainment modelling and more. Get the Sales template here.
Managers & Executives template
If you’re in a leadership role or interviewing for one, you should grab my 30 60 90 day plan template for Managers. For only $21.99 you get a fully customized leadership-oriented template that includes a situational assessment, strategic initiatives planning, and a management performance dashboard. Get the Managers and Executives plan template here.
When built correctly, the 30 60 90 day plan gets everyone aligned to a common definition of what success looks like so you can guarantee you’ll leave the first 90 days on pace to your next promotion. Here is a template I’ve used in my own career. You should personalize it so it relates more directly to your own job or career situation. I’ve intentionally made the design professional but not flashy – it should be easy to customize for your own purposes. Make sure you delete the speaking notes before sending it out! If you’re worried about the quality of the template or whether its worth $8.99, please check out the comments below the blog. I really hope you get as much value from it as so many others have.
A 30 60 90 day plan is critical for sales. In the interview process it can help you land the job. And once you have the job it can help you build a reputation as a smart and savvy sales executive. This is a custom template I designed when I was in sales management and it was a secret weapon for me. You should personalize it based on your territory, business and role. I made it professional but not flashy so you can customize it easily. Make sure you delete the speaking notes before sending to your boss!! If you’re wondering about the quality or whether its worth a few extra bucks from my generic template, check out the comments. I really hope it works as well for you as it did for me and has for others.
A 30 60 90 day plan is critical for managers and executives. In the interview process it can help you land the job. And once you have the job it can help you build a reputation as a seasoned, thoughtful executive. This is a custom template I designed when I first reached the executive level and I’ve been refining it ever since. You should personalize it based on your specific situation and role. I made it professional but not flashy so you can customize it easily. Make sure you delete the speaking notes before distributing!! This template includes a bunch of additional content from my generic template which is why it costs a bit extra. If you’re worried about whether or not its worth the money, check out the comments. I really hope it works as well for you as it did for me and has for others.
To win in the job market today you need to be prepared. The competition is greater than ever. There are more applicants for every job. You need to stand out and being more prepared than your competition is the best way to do that. That’s why I’ve assembled the Manager’s Job Search Bundle. Its everything you need to get your dream job:
My Visual Resume Template in MS Word (To Stand Out)
My 30 60 90 Day Plan for Managers (To Differentiate in Interviews)
My 60 Minute Interview Preparation Checklist (To be at Your Best)
I used this package to land my dream job last year. I hope it works for you too.