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Industry Insights

Guide to Survive: First 90 Days in a New Laboratory Job
By: Mia Phillips, Executive Recruiter, LLS Recruiting Team

Regardless of the type of laboratory role you are moving into, it is completely normal to be a bit anxious when starting a new job. Although a few items in this guide might seem obvious, it’s common to get so caught up in the excitement of a new role that we often forget simple things to make the transition easier.

In this guide, you’ll find our Executive Recruiters’ top items that you need to know to be successful in the first 90 days of a new laboratory job, including:

  • Why the first 90 days are so critical to success in a new laboratory job.
  • The potential obstacles one might face when starting a new job.
  • Tips, tools, and best practices to succeed in your new role.

The first 90 days don’t have to be difficult; simply review this guide to best prep yourself for what’s to come. We can assure you it’ll make a noticeable difference.


Why the first 90 days?

The first 90 days are going to likely be the biggest learning period of your entire time in this role. From workflows to peer engagement, you’ll be taking in so much information. Due to this large intake of new info, it can be easy to get overwhelmed or start to struggle.


Potential obstacles

  • Learning processes
  • Connecting with a new team
  • Fitting in with company culture
  • Meeting goals and expectations
  • Difference in management style
  • Doing grunt work/doing no work
  • Maintaining a work-life balance

Whether it includes learning processes or figuring out how to work with a new laboratory team, at least a few obstacles will likely arise – so it’s best to be prepared.


Tips and best practices


1.    Take notes

Everyone has to start somewhere! We suggest going to the store or shopping online prior to your first day and picking out a notebook that you love. No one is expecting you to remember everything, so regardless of how small the bit of information might be, write it down! You can use this notebook as a training guide if your lab doesn’t offer you one and refer back to it later.

2.    Ask questions

It’s always better to ask questions rather than attempting to figure out how to do something and potentially making bigger mistakes than necessary. Trainers and managers alike would rather you ask questions in the beginning, so take advantage of the resources around you.

3.    Make small talk

We don’t mean constantly talking about the weather, but you should try to make the acquaintance of your new co-workers early. The reality is, you’ll be spending most of your week with your co-workers. It’s best to at least be cordial with your team to make sure your work environment is a positive one.

4.    Practice patience

With yourself, with others, and with your new assignments, practice patience. We get a lot of feedback from candidates about the stress of a new job and how after just a few weeks they don’t feel like it’s a good fit. If you give yourself and others grace for at least the first 90 days, we can assure you the stress will ease up.

Go into a new role with the mentality that everyone around you started there at one point and was in your exact same situation. Take constructive feedback well, talk to your co-workers about what it was like when they first started, and chat with your management about best practices. Patience is such a virtue – utilize it!

5.    Lean on your support system

As previously mentioned, work will take up a huge part of your life, so making your friends, family, therapist, etc. aware of this change can make a big difference. You’ll be able to talk with those closest to you about your successes as well as your struggles. Getting support when you need it during this transition period is crucial and can impact how those first 90 days will turn out.


You’ve Got This!

Remember, you made it through the training, education, and interview process for this new laboratory job. You are capable and you are qualified! Ask questions, talk to your co-workers, practice patience, and just be yourself. We know you’ll be great.

And if you ever need assistance making your next career move, don’t hesitate to reach out to our Recruiting Team!


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