I've had quite a few new starters join the team recently, these are some notes on my typical guidance.

  1. Get to know the Map - start to organically form a sense of the the overall size and rough shape of the knowledge territory to be covered. (Like exploring a new RPG)

  2. Find your origin story - define, refine and own your story ... the why - at a personal level for you. It’s part of how you enthuse and contextualise with colleagues and customers alike. Hopefully your motivations to join were not just about earning a wage, so let's weave that bigger story into te heart of your time here. For me - Vercel is all about 'being part of the next small step in the evolution of human communications', my real drivers are founded around this mission, and in that context I strive for the realisation against ideals - for me, my team, the whole organisation, and on behalf of all the people I meet who are on the customer side of things... not just today amd tomorrow but on

  3. Scrap-booking - Create your own week-to-week review 'good things' notes ... look back on these when you have difficult weeks, and these will form the basis of your end of year review.

  4. Self-Retrospectives: Consider delivering your own end of month 1, and month 3 review informally - even if your manager doesn't typically do them - consider asking for 20 mins to present to them, to highlight all your efforts, contributions and achievements to date, and to ensure you are on-track(if your manager is not interested in this - then small alarm bells should be ringing).

Rule one of leadership is 'No Surprises' - it's the key to appraisals, and getting more regular feedback cycles is the key to staying aligned.

  1. Hands-on 'playing'. If there is a technical aspect to your role, then form a great code-playground which can become the basis of your ongoing experimentation and exploration. Actively look to build things that excite you - this will drive you to go beyond the typical linear path of most tutorials, requiring you to solve real problems of your own, which is the foundation of meaningful and deeper understanding. It will grant you a sense of 'ownership' which will radically change the contextual perspective of those you them demo to, as well as probably forming the basis by which you can throw together custom demos in the future.

Where appropriate, share these codebases with your team, and write about them somewhere such as your own blog, to help others to easily find and explore, to leverage and to perhaps also collaborate.

  1. Onboarding buddy(ies) - most orgs will designate a specific 'buddy' - but I recommend grabbing coffee (in person or via zoom) with a diverse set of individuals from across different teams and functions, and forming organic pod of buddies, who help and support each other.

  2. If in technical pre-sales or sales - shadow lots of calls; watch lots of call recordings (if available), as for recommended viewing from your team, and while watching, hit pause, and imagine how you would take the call forward from that point. Practice and learn (on your own, or with buddies) ahead of the real thing

  3. Protect your calendar - try to retain the shaped week that is sensitive to your personal needs, and ways of operating (I personally leave my open to the whole org, to enable people to make their own judgement as to how flexible my time may be during a given week). If you use services like Calendly to enable customers and candidates to book time with you, then be meticulous in what is truly 'busy' or 'free' (flexible).

  4. Be clear on your role and goals. (Ask your manager for these if they are not already clear). For example in pre-sales measure 1 is supporting new business and growth ARR - once we have this nailed, then we have more freedom for more strategic imperatives. I wrote about these for my team.

  5. Look for early wins - for ways to contribute.Maybe help iterate the onboarding documents - by providing constructive feedback into making them better, open PRs for documentation suggestions, build and share new demos.

  6. Form your own Internal knowledge bases - when you find something interesting or valuable, document it for ease of finding in the future - also consider making these open to your colleagues enabling a group-effect of sharing. , Figure out who’s who - not just the official org chart, but more of a personal directory of interests and histories.

  7. Be deliberate in forming 'Good habits' - especially those centred around operational efficiency and effectiveness (email subject lines, calendar use) aim for efficiency and sustainability.