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A manager is shaking hands with a new office employee with three employees standing in the background looking at a tablet. The first 90 days in a new job are vital to her success.

The first 90 days in a new job in Canada is an important time to demonstrate to your manager that you have what it takes to achieve success in the role. In addition, some employers may state that you must complete a 90-day probationary period. With these tips for success in your first 90 days, you can be proactive and ensure that you meet and exceed their expectations. This information is vital, especially if this is your first job in Canada and you want to understand the Canadian workplace.

The First 90 Days in Your New Job in Canada: 10 Smart Tips for Success

During your first three months on the job, your new employer will assess your performance, skills, and abilities and determine if you are a good “fit” for the role and the organization. Your direct manager will also assess if you fit the organizational culture. However, it’s also a critical time for you to evaluate if you are happy with your job and employer. If you meet performance expectations within the first 90 days in your new job, and you are satisfied with the job, you can achieve long-term success with these tips. 

1. Understand the Canadian Workplace

The workplace culture in Canada will vary for each company and industry. Do your best to make a great first impression and be open and friendly with your colleagues. Your workplace relationships in Canada are important and help to build trust among coworkers and other teams. A high-trust work environment contributes to workplace efficiency, productivity, and a positive work environment. 

As a newcomer, you may think that you need to change your behaviour to fit into the Canadian workplace. And while you may find some of the workplace etiquette a little different, you’ll pick up the behaviours when you start working.  Canadian employers value diversity in the workplace and recognize how it contributes to improved business outcomes.

2. Know the Company’s Core Values, Products, or Services

You likely did a great deal of research on the company during the interview process.  Now it’s time to expand on that knowledge from the inside of the company. This shows your Canadian employer that you are committed to not only your own success but also that of the organization. Sometimes new employees focus too much on their individual roles and responsibilities and lose sight of what the company is trying to achieve.

Many companies will host a new employee orientation. This orientation can vary in length from a half-day to a day-long session and usually takes place during your first week with the company. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the company’s culture, values, products and services, and key policies and processes. Examples of core policies include:

  • Business Code of Conduct
  • Diversity, inclusion, and equity in the workplace
  • Health & Safety.

A new employee orientation also serves to define the specific behaviours that will contribute to your success in your new job, for example:

  • Building relationships with others
  • Expressing ideas and sharing information clearly and concisely
  • Being open to different ideas and cultures
  • Generating ideas
  • Recognizing your personal strengths and pursuing self-development. 
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3. Find a Mentor in Your First 90 Days

Finding a mentor to show you how things get done in the Canadian workplace is invaluable. Some companies may even assign someone on the team to help you succeed in your first 90 days in a new job. This can provide short and long-term benefits for your career success. With a mentor, you will have someone to go to with any questions which can help you to quickly achieve results.

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4. Get the Answers You Need in the First 90 Days

You are new and as such, you get to ask all of the questions you want without judgment.  This is the time to focus on learning every aspect of your job and aim to contribute as quickly as you can. The sooner that you can shed the appearance of being the new kid in class and graduate to a confident member of the team the better. Your manager and colleagues want to share their knowledge with you to help you succeed in your first 90 days in your new job.

5. Become a Collaborative Team Member in Your First 90 Days

Canadian employers place a high value on teamwork and collaboration to help them achieve their goals. This means fostering positive relationships and building networks. While you may want to complete your work with a minimal amount of socializing, it’s vital to build connections with your team to achieve results. 

6. Get Your Name Out There

It’s important to introduce yourself to other colleagues within the first 90 days. Often called, “meet and greets”, these short 20 – 30 minute meetings allow you to meet others, learn about their roles, and how you can expect to work with them. This will give you an understanding of what others do so you’ll know who to speak to when you have a question. Initiating a “meet and greet” with the key people in your workplace will quickly help you to build relationships.

While it can feel awkward to introduce yourself and ask for help, stepping outside of your comfort zone will be vital to your success in your new job. 

7. Be Social and Positive

The lunch break is a great time to get to know your coworkers within your first 90 days. If everyone brings a lunch and hangs out together then follow suit. Or, join your team occasionally if they go out to eat lunch. You’ll get to explore the area around your office as you get to know your coworkers.

While all of this is good advice, you need to be on top of your game in your new job so you should allow yourself some time to acclimate to the new position and work environment. The important thing is to stay positive while you navigate your first 90 days in your new job.

8. Share Your New Ideas

As a new employee, you bring a fresh set of eyes and you may be able to see something that could improve how the team or company operates. Your input can generate ideas and innovation. However, you also want to avoid being critical. So be sure to convey a compelling message and rationale for providing your ideas. 

9. Dress for the Job

Multi-ethnic employees in a group photo and dressed in business casual attire.
Many companies in Canada have a “business casual” dress code.

If there is a dress code then you need to make sure that you adhere to it and that you are presentable. The dress code is something that you can learn more about in the employee orientation. However, you can also observe what others wear in your office. It is possible that the official dress code does not align exactly with what you are expected to wear. For example, your manager may dress more formally every day, especially if they are meeting with senior leaders or external clients. However, they may not expect you to dress formally. But, it’s important to find out how you are expected to dress to get it right.

In Canada, many companies have a “business casual” dress code. This means that men don’t have to wear a suit and tie, and women are not required to wear a structured blazer with a matching skirt or slacks. In some cases, the organization may allow you to wear denim. However, be sure to look presentable and avoid wearing distressed denim.

10. Go the Extra Mile

You would be amazed at how far a little extra effort can take you, especially in your first few weeks and months. Once you have established yourself as someone who gets things done you can look forward to a promising career beyond your first 90 days! 

It’s an exciting time when you land your first job in Canada. But it can also be overwhelming when you want to exceed expectations. Recognizing the importance of your first three months in your new job, these tips will help you navigate the road to career success in Canada!