Starting a New Job – My First Month at Growth Tribe8 min read
Starting a new job means you’re meeting new people, buying a notebook (most likely a bullet journal), and being at Inbox Zero. Sounds familiar?
It does to me because I recently joined Growth Tribe.
You can definitely see that I’m a millennial – I thought that starting a new job was an individual experience.
I was wrong. Whether it’s your first position or your fifth, starting a new job can still be more than a little intimidating. You want to prove yourself and you also want to become a great colleague.
Even in the best organisations, it’s often challenging to pinpoint what a company values, how its strategy works, what success looks like and how you fit in. But trust me, being new is a hard-earned skill, and you don’t have to act as if you understand everything.
That’s not the point. The point is to show up and embrace the daily challenges.
Here’s how I got to make the most of my first 30 days:
1. On the job learning
At Growth Tribe, we’re always doing things fast. A motto here is to “get shit done” and on occasion, to “F*ck it, ship it”. This attitude is deeply embedded in the company culture. It helps us focus on rapid experimentation and use of rigorous methods to test ideas – and then act on those results.
We also ensure we always keep learning. Always be learning, always be teaching is another thing you’ll hear at Growth Tribe frequently!
I started strong with a 2 Day Growth Hacking Crash Course, followed by a series of learning milestones. From grabbing coffee with people to reading lists and learning how to use tools, this was only the start of my journey to defining my long term goals.
People at Growth Tribe often share their most important learnings. It shows what they strive for in their work and helps others understand why it matters.
2. Ask Questions
We constantly ask ourselves – how can we make what we are doing right happen 10x faster?
We’re also pretty good at pursuing tasks which are not only meaningful to us but over which we have efficacy.
One quick way to figure out the difference between what’s important and what’s not is to ask yourself: is this going to bring high impact with a low turnaround time?
- What is the most valuable use of my time right now?
- What will make a real difference?
- What do I need to prioritise?
But this might not come naturally to you when you’re starting a new job. A common misconception is that learning essentially means absorbing information. Attend enough meetings that cover strategy, values, impact, just stick around and you’ll soon “get it”!
If that were the case, there would be no need for 1-on-1s, performance reviews, or anything specific about what people are doing, the problems to be tackled and what it’s needed from you to solve them.
In healthy workplaces, there’s always on-the-job learning. In fact, it’s a requirement! A responsibility we all have!
The best way to accelerate this process is by asking others what their main focus is at the moment. Are they learning something new? What are they struggling with right now?
Asking a personal question show that you care about people and their work. It also earns their trust, especially when followed by “How can I help?”
3. Start seeing failure as an opportunity to learn
Things will not always go as planned and you won’t always be in control. Or have the time to sit down and analyse before making a decision. Or ask for a second opinion.
Sometimes you will be the only decision maker and you have to give yourself permission to be wrong. No one else can do that except for you. If you don’t do it, your impulse to steer clear from uncertainty and playing it safe will become a habit. As a result, you will hesitate in taking action and start asking for permission to do it instead.
The sooner you act the faster you will learn. Embrace your mistakes by asking your colleagues for their feedback, understand where you went wrong and show commitment to improvement.
Hesitation triggers a lack of ownership. All of that will slow you and your team down and in turn, stunt your professional growth.
That’s why you shouldn’t aim for avoiding mistakes at all costs or only acting when you’re certain about the outcome.
Be bold. Be brave.
Daily stand-ups are a good ice-breaker. At Growth Tribe, they provide the space to align our goals with everyone in the team and always have context. But that’s not all, of course.
If I were to define Growth Tribers in a few words, I would say that we are insatiably curious. The more interested we are in finding out about the challenges that we’re facing, the more empathetic we are with each other’s work and relate to it.
In any fast-moving organisation, you need to know what works effectively for you. My biggest learning so far is that it’s not my team’s responsibility to get to know me. Rather, my responsibility to show that my work is purposeful, why it’s valuable, and how they can benefit from it.
The sooner you start being open about what you value, the faster you will move away from handshakes to high fives. Plus, you only get to contribute to the bigger picture of the organisation!
5. Drive + energy + urgency
When I started my new job at Growth Tribe I often got asked – What’s the reasoning behind your idea? How does this relate to your goals? Why should we spend time on this?
After getting over the self-imposed pressure brought on by the fear of being wrong, I realised being new was my license to break the silence.
Working at Growth Tribe is topped by the agility that we bring to the table to solve real-world problems. Questions are the best way to turn abstract ideas and fears into things that are more concrete. Which makes you discuss openly, and align with your team on decisions.
So take advantage of the questions and the opportunities they bring. Speak up – it’s an act of confidence and it helps others be in tune with you and move faster and better.
You’ll never get the chance to learn as you do during your first month. Starting a new job is not easy but your drive and energy will ground you, strengthen your foundation, and help you bring something different.
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