Being The New Guy
Eariler this month, I started working at VaynerMedia as an Account Manager. Eventually, this job will look a lot like leading a team in strategy, ideation, and regular communication with clients on behalf of VM.
However, like most things in life, you have to walk before you run and it can take time to get where you want to be. Here are a few lessons I’ve already learned fresh off my first 14 days at Vayner. I hope they’ll be helpful to anyone starting a new gig.
Basic, right? My instinct is to run as fast as I can right out of the gate and prove that hiring me was not an enormous mistake by my new jefe. This leads to obsessively clicking the refresh button in my email inbox dozens of times and could have caused me press too hard in meetings/early opportunities. I’d also add that its a great idea to say less and listen more. That’s always good advice, but particularly when just starting out at a new place. I learned this one from Ryan Holiday.
Thankfully, I’ve been welcomed by a very open and caring team who has introduced me to the process/verbiage/culture here without expecting unfair or impossible outcomes as result. It’s been a fairly seamless start, and I’m feeling very prepared for whenever my number is called.
Invest in people.
Probably the best advice given to me when I started was to “meet and have coffee with as many people as possible.” This advice, although not great for my severe caffeine addiction, has proved extremely beneficial to me at the start. I’ve been able to meet with nearly everyone who works out of the office I’m at (in beautiful Chattanooga), as well as many of the folks out of our other offices in SF, LA, and NYC.
Taking the time to meet and understand my coworkers as people has made the office feel natural, and will undoubtedly help as the project work begins to ramp up.
This last one is another that is fairly obvious, but can fall to the wayside if you’re not careful. Its easy to earn a certain level of autonomy and feel like you can rely on your past experience or tacit knowledge to plug into the new environment. I highly recommend doing the exact opposite. Studying each and every process like a quarterback studies his playbook will benefit you as you begin to get involved and relied upon for results.
Don’t make your new coworkers hold your hand for every little thing. Take the initiative to understand as much as humanely possible, and rely on your new pals as a crutch only when absolutely necessary.
Lastly, I would say to have lots of fun! If you chose to start at this new company, I would hope you have aspirations to do great things and build long-lasting relationships for years to come. Otherwise, maybe you need to reconsider your choice to begin with.
For me, these first two weeks have served as an incredible launching pad for the rest of my (hopefully very long) career with Vayner Media. Thanks to all of you who have helped. It really means a lot.
If you enjoyed this post would you do me a solid and click the little heart below? It will help me meet more cool people like you. That’s why I publish anything to begin with. :)