shared learnings from startup to mid-market to enterprise
Dear New Employee,
Congratulations on joining this hot new startup. Lets talk about career. The journey of so called success and self-growth within the startup software industry can no doubt be cut throat at times. No, I take that back, ALL the time. You aspire to get your foot in the door, working tireless hours as an intern until someone finally recognizes your smart work and sacrifices. Personally, I blame capitalism but what the hell, this is life. It requires hard work to achieve the aspirations worth achieving. That being said, I’ve started re-examining the importance of personal and self-growth which includes professional development.
This is my personal excerpt of my experiences and just a few tips, or perhaps thoughts, on the matter to improve the ever expanding demanding workplace.
1. Learn, Learn, Learn…LEARN!
- Whether you’re joining a team as a new Individual Contributor (IC) or a new Manager within a department, it’s extremely important to dive into the product knowledge. While you don’t always need to know the ins and outs, it’s crucial that you understand the foundation as well as the roadmap the effect change.
- Dive into the processes, workflows, and escalation paths immediately. I recommend the approach of first monitoring and active listening to real-time examples prior to deploying new forms of action. It’s important to understand the landscape in which you’re working.
- Optimize processes and workflows based on what has been observed. Don’t be shy to start documententing this. You can always return for edits as productive workflows is an ongoing opportunity.
2. Invest in Your Team, Not Politically but Personally
- When you’re joining a new organization with tenured colleagues, whether an individual contributor (IC) role or a people management role, it’s important to immediately obtain buy-in and loyalty from the team. Some leaders do this this on an objective-based and transactional level but I recommend truly investing personal time to understand the challenges and pain points of the team by listening to every stakeholder, including the perceived wins. When you open yourself up to vulnerability, people respond genuinely, especially those working directly with you. Camaraderie is essential. Remember that.
- Spend the first 30 days connecting with your team members and cross-departmental stakeholders. Ask questions on what they do, the expectations of their role, and what they’re looking for in working with you. It’s important to establish these relationships early on as placing a focus here will help your personal growth at the organization while solidifying crucial partnerships within the organization.
3. Ride the Wave: Change is INEVITABLE
- Startups are destined for change. It’s a part of innovation. No successful business can grow staying stagnant to the market. In order to be successful, you have to ride the wave, be innovative, and grow. I’ve learned this the hard way at times but can humbly say that the lessons and growth learned is invaluable. Don’t be afraid to challenge oneself. The saying holds true, embrace it:
“you grow during the times of extreme uncomfort.”
I hope that these few points of advice can help another professional whether you’re just starting your career, or trying to grow and embrace your current development path. Please feel free to contact me directly or comment below as I’ll make sure to respond right away.
Thank you for reading and if you enjoyed, please heart or share the post. Any promotion surrounding positive vibes is appreciated. I do the same :)
Happy Thanksgiving! (11/2016)