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Product Manager Louis Sutton gives his tips for your first two weeks in a new job.
So, you’ve landed your dream job at one of the hottest and most exciting companies in your industry. Understandably, you want to make a good impression and ‘hit the ground running’ but you’ve got a million and one things to do to get up to speed. Although companies like Freetrade will have well-defined, organised and hopefully smooth onboarding processes, it’s super important you take ownership of setting yourself up for success.
How do you do this? I’ve written five super practical tips I’ve learnt from my own mistakes and from helping onboard a dozen or so folks myself. I hope these tips are implementable at any level in all sorts of roles.
You’d be surprised how much you can learn about a company simply from using their product. Spend time exploring the product or service and jotting down the key features. Look for what’s not there too, these items may represent ongoing projects or things you can suggest when you arrive. You can also usually read public reviews of the product and company or find comments from users on a forum or blog, which will help you get a flavour for what they’re asking for, and where current opportunities may lie.
It’s important to have an impact as quickly as possible when you start in a new role, however small or large. Understanding the product will help you know where to start, and maybe you’ll be able to push those metrics a little or send that marketing campaign in your first week or two.
Let’s face it, in your first couple of weeks you’re likely going to have to introduce yourself several times, perhaps over a coffee or even in front of the whole company or team! It’s worth spending a few minutes ahead of joining thinking about how you want to frame your introduction.
It’s likely your first few weeks are going to be packed with introductory catch-ups and coffees with people you’ll be working with in some way. These sessions are vital as they’ll help build relationships with key colleagues and will help you gain context about various projects going on around the business. But how do you meet the right people and ensure you continue to do so? It’s simple! Never end a conversation without somebody else to talk to by simply asking the below question.
“I’ve already spoken to person x, y and z, if you were me, who else
would you want to speak to in order to make sure I get up to speed quickly?”
It’s completely natural to start a new role with plenty of fresh ideas, things you want to research and people you want to speak to. As you onboard and get given your first project, it’s easy for those ideas to slip your mind and fall to the bottom of your ‘To Do’ list. To ensure this doesn’t happen, create a dedicated ‘Someday Maybe’ list of things you don’t have time to take action on now, but don’t want to forget about. Next time you’ve got a quiet Friday afternoon you can dip into this list and pick an item off the top.
A normal part of any onboarding journey is reading various documents to understand key products, projects and teams. If you’ve got questions about what you’re reading, it’s likely the next person onboard will have those same questions too, so offer to update the docs as you go. If you asked for docs that don’t exist, offer to create those as part of your learning experience.
Don’t forget: you’ve started the job you worked so hard to get - you’ve done it! Remember to enjoy yourself in your first few weeks in particular. You have the luxury of bringing a completely fresh perspective to the product and the projects the company is working on. Use this to your advantage - for a while you’ll see things much more akin to the end user than a colleague who has been buried in the problem for weeks or months.
Soon enough you’ll be a part of the furniture and new joiners will be asking you for coffees and advice. So enjoy the time while it lasts, soak up as much as you can and prepare yourself for a long and successful time with the company.
If you want to put these tips into practice, check out our careers page. like to learn more about our at Freetrade or our mission to get everyone investing, get in touch.
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The views expressed above are those of community members and do not reflect the views of Freetrade. It is not investment advice and we always encourage you to do your own research.