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Lessons from football players on how to make your first 90 days in a job count

Company: Hays Czech Republic s.r.o.

The first 90 days of a new job are crucial to a person’s success and in many ways can be compared to the 90 minutes played in a football match. With the help from partners Manchester City, Ladislav Kučera, Managing Director of Hays Czech Republic explains what those starting a new role can learn from footballers and how they can make an impact in the first 90 days of a new job.


In just three months of starting a new role it is important employees prove their ability, demonstrate that they have potential at the company and show their capacity to work as part of a team. Within this time employees must also be prepared to listen to feedback and act on it - these are often the same challenges faced by professional footballers.

Ladislav Kučera says “During our partnership with Manchester City we have really come to understand one another’s organisations and we have found many parallels between the world of work and professional football. Some of these provide handy analogies for employees when examining their career and learning how to get the most out of it.”

Start preparing before day one

Ladislav Kučera : ”Research the company’s background and make sure you have a good understanding of how you fit into the organisation and what’s expected of you. Make sure you have your outfit planned and ready for the next morning, map the route you’re going to take and aim to arrive 30 minutes early. And don’t forget, get a good night’s rest.”

Manchester City midfielder, Fernandinho, says “Before a game, preparation is key. Every small detail matters – eating the right food, sleeping well and warming up properly – it’s all important.”

Arrive with no pre-conceived ideas

Ladislav Kučera: “Regardless of whether past work experiences were good or bad, no two jobs are ever the same so get rid of any preconceived notions of what your role will be like. Keep an open mind and approach your first 90 days as a fresh start.”

Manchester City Women’s captain, Steph Houghton, says “Before every game, it is important to focus on the game ahead. Your team, the opposition, their tactics and training methods, will constantly evolve. Approach each game as a clean slate, and be ready to learn something new.”

First impressions count

Ladislav Kučera: “First impressions do count and you want to make a good one. Don’t forget it’s normal to feel nervous on your first day, but you can improve your confidence by making sure your posture is good, and that you make eye contact and smile while you talk.”

Manchester City’s David Silva notes “When you walk onto the pitch, you feel like the world is watching. It is important to hold your up head high and not let your nerves get the better of you.”

Build a network of support

Ladislav Kučera states, “Getting to know your new colleagues and building relationships with them is essential to a person’s performance at work. So start with those that work close by to you or the colleagues you engage with the most – these people will be great for guidance and helping you to settle in to your new role.”

Celebrate early successes, but don’t get complacent

Ladislav Kučera notes, “Celebrate any early wins and let that momentum motivate you to achieve even more success, but you must always remember to not become complacent.”

Manchester City’s Kevin De Bryune states “Sometimes, a player will score early on, which is always a cause for celebration. However, it’s important to not let this affect your focus and determination. Start as you mean to go on, and aim to arm your team with as many goals as possible, because anything could happen for the remainder of the game.”

Identify missed opportunities

Ladislav Kučera: “You may experience failure within your first 90 days and so you must be prepared to pick yourself back up again and learn from your mistakes.”

Manchester City captain, Vincent Kompany states that “During a match, sometimes you’ll miss opportunities and face setbacks. When this does happen, it’s important not to let your head drop. Stay focused, in control and confident and you’ll soon find yourself back to your best. If you’re finding it difficult, look to your colleagues and teammates for support.”

Stop and reflect

Ladislav Kučera reveals, “It’s important to take the time during your first 90 days to reflect on your experience so far; is there anything you could be doing better, are you getting the most out of the role, have you introduced yourself to the right people? These are all questions you need to ask yourself and don’t forget your manager might be able to provide some guidance.”

Manchester City midfielder, Ilkay Gundogan, says “Every game provides an opportunity to learn, develop and adjust your tactics. At half time, we regroup as a team, reflect on our performance and look at ways to build on the first half and hopefully go on to win the game.”

Plan your next steps

Ladislav Kučera closes by saying, “Once your first 90 days are up it’s time to start thinking about the next possible step in your career. Consider whether you enjoyed working at the organisation, what were your colleagues like, can that company offer you what you want and will they be supportive, can you develop your skillset further at the organisation? If the answer to the above is yes, then sit down with your manager, identify where you want to go and how to get there.”

Tags: Human Resources |

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