One Week at a Startup — The Onboarding Process

One Week at a Startup — The Onboarding Process

I’ve worked a few odd jobs in my life, all requiring their unique sets of skills, lingo, and cultural norms. When I worked at a retreat center in California, the same guests I tended to as a supportive guide would see my underwear swaying on the communal clothing line the next morning. Not exactly standard business practice. Despite these differences, one thing remained relatively the same… the onboarding process!

I imagine without the right attitude, or excitement about a new hire, the onboarding process can be viewed as a tedious, time waster. In my past experiences, most organizations will assign someone to run you through “everything” on your first day. You then will spend the next two weeks trying to remember all you were told, and reaching out to “that one guy” who helped you out on your first day. The typical feelings induced include but are not limited too, anxiety over f-ing up, embarrassment over asking too many questions, and a lot of pretending that you’re busy because you feel like you should be doing more than you really are.

Fortunately, the former situation did not apply to me this past week. With one week down at my apprenticeship with Praxis, I’m happy to say I’ve already learned so much. Here are my top takeaways from week one:

 

WHAT I LEARNED FROM THE PRAXIS ONBOARDING PROCESS

I had the opportunity to sit down with most of the team throughout the week for training purposes. Even though I’m still down in South Florida and won’t be in Charleston for another week, I was really able to hit the ground running from day one. I got the impression right away that everyone was more than willing to answer any questions and give any support that I may need going forward. I was able to reciprocate the same open communication offered to me as well. Even with all the new information being crammed in, I still kept an honest and open communication line between myself and the rest of the team. A really big help in this win was just seeing how patient and understanding the team was with the whole process. This also allowed me to be more patient with myself in processing all the information I was receiving. By mirroring their attitudes towards my onboarding process, I was able to feel more secure and on target with everything I was doing.

 

WAYS I WON AT WORK (AKA CREATED VALUE)

I was really happy (and surprised) at my ability to create value my first week on the job. My supervisor reached out to me with a design project that he needed a quick turn around on. I was able to come up with a solution that satisfied all our needs while still being doable in the short time we had. Can’t say it didn’t feel awesome.

 

FOCUS(ES) FOR THE COMING WEEK

My number one focus for the coming week is to get myself to Charleston. Once I settle into my apartment and get “nested” I know I’ll be able to do my best work. Before the end of April however, I want to have a rough plan set for the next 6 months of projects I’d like to complete while at my BP.

 

BONUS* WHAT I LEARNED FROM ROOMMATE STALKING

I never would have thought to use this in the past, but LinkedIn is actually a great way to do a little digging on your potential roommate. If they’re active, you can learn all sorts of things about their education and work history, as well as past locations they’ve lived in. I promise I’m not a stalker, but if I’m scouting for a potential roommate, I need to do my research. So if you’re like me, I highly recommend adding LinkedIn to your lineup!


Overall, it was a great first week. I have to mention that the week flew by super quickly, so that’s definitely a clue I had a good time. I’m most excited to get to the office and be able to work alongside the amazing people I’ve known through a computer screen for the last six months. Until next week…

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