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Joining a new team is aways a new and exciting challenge. The first two weeks in any new company are quite a rollercoaster anywhere. Getting a new place, making your place while not stepping over any toes. In this post I want to share my experience from my hiring process to my first day and my first two weeks. The ups, the downs, the straights. Meeting new people, getting to know them and having new people know you. The panics, the "phews", the high fives and the pints. All while having to get some good design work done.
Before working at Designtalent, my experience with them started as I got hired by Design talent, or maybe how I convinced them to pay me to do good work for them. I applied on LinkedIn for an opportunity as a Visual Designer. I read the job spec and it really seemed to tick all my boxes, I vaguely knew what Designtalent was and who they are. Soon after I got a call. Unfortunately I couldn’t get the call immediately as I was in the middle of a shift, working at a restaurant. I asked for a call back. I hung up reluctantly, annoyed at my situation, assuming that other candidates would be called too, and that I missed an opportunity.
Despite my expectations, I got a call back. I got invited to my first interview. I researched the company, I wore my lucky interview shirt. I went in, I showed my work, I learned about the company and the team. I shook hands with Maral and Lubna and went home. I waited. I got another call. I told Lewis how it went. He had good news. I had another interview. I was excited. Could this be the one? I was nervous. I went in. I showed my skills. I met Ben & Heledd. I had a flat white, they both had a latte. We talked. We shook hands. I took the underground, unsure if I had said the right words or if maybe I came off the wrong way. I wondered. 3 days passed. I saw a missed call. I called back. I got the job. I resignation from my job at the restaurant. 3 weeks passed. I couldn't sleep. 3am staring at the ceiling. Thinking. Thinking. Thinking. I woke up. Today was the day.
Week 1: landing
The image above really captures a feeling I had when I reached my desk, that this was a special place. At my first day I met my team and settled in: Setting up my email, signing contracts, filling out paperwork and setting up my computer to the way I feel most comfortable working. For lunch, the team took me around Victoria. I was given access to all the design tools and files and spent some time studying and learning the brand guidelines. My first task was to get my portrait taken (by Maral) to then edit it and create my profile for the Designtalent website (check me out here). Through this exercise I got familiar with the brand and the website backend. I then arranged a photoshoot for Wylie, Ozzie and Anastasia to get their pictures taken too. It was nice and I quickly got to know almost everone in my new team.
I soon found out that Maral, our Design Lead, was leaving for a week. So she made a plan of action for me to work on while she was away. My workload was light, or so I thought.
About 3 days in I got briefed on my next task. Heledd created workshop for an event called working futures (which she is writing a blog post about, so watch this space) which needed to be prepared in a Keynote. Maral started the process while I worked on postcards for the workshop. These would be like businesss card but with a bit more information to show what we do at Designtalent.
I came into the office and my partner in design crime was no longer there. I was now venturing into a territory with deadlines, alone. I was working on the postcard, getting to know the minimal Designtalent style while also visualising the Designtalent message in the most effective way.
How wonderful it is to come in on Friday and just be overwhelmed with food. Just make sure not to forget to bring something or you'll have wished you didn't come in on that day. I continued to work on the postcards, and sent them to print.
Next I had to quickly learn how Keynote works so I could transform a text heavy document into an easily digestible presentation for a workshop. At the end of the day Hel organised a team meeting to run through her presentation. We all gave feedback, improved and simplified what we didn’t understand. The list of changes was long.. And time was starting to get tighter. I knew my second week was going to be exciting...
Week 2: take off
My week started earlier than usual, or maybe it just never ended. I kept working on the Keynote on Saturday. We don’t normally work on weekends but I decided that this the best solution for me: I could work at a slower pace and understand Keynote. Any progress I’d made would be a great bonus for the week ahead.
Remember the postcard? I worked on a second one as a result of the feedback to make Hel’s workshop more engaging. Meanwhile I also got stickers made. We finalised the the Keynote, and did some last fine-tuning on animations
￼On Wednesday I was excited and got my the first postcards delivery to the office. I noticed the box was bigger than it should be. I opened it. My gut was right. The above image was not what I ordered. Somehow the wrong label was put on the wrong box and I received somebody else's print. This would’ve been fine if I didn't need the prints before the end of the day. Under pressure I called the local print shop where I got the second postcard and the stickers made. Luckily they were able to print the first postcard too. At around 1:30pm I left the office to pick them up. They were perfect. Relief overwhelmed me.As I came back into the office everyone had a frightened look on their face. I had been out just when an infamous attack happened in Westminster. Our offices are around the corner. So you can understand their fear of me being out just at that time.
The prints were great, combined with black envelopes I created a useful info pack for Hel’s event. It came down to the smallest of details and rapid problem solving to make everything fit and come together perfectly.
The experience from these two weeks has already been amazing. And I didn’t even tell you about all the other projects I worked on. I was pushed and tested quite far and I think I managed to overcome and find solutions at every stage of this journey. I found myself learning how to swim, after being pushed into the deep end. Looking back at everything that I did and learned it was solely a positive experience.
Did I expect any of this when I was unable to sleep wondering at 3am in bed? Not at all. Am I excited for what lies ahead, why of course!