How I had the best first month

Ahh… new jobs.

New jobs are up there with the feeling of putting on clean pajamas after a shower, and slipping into a bed with clean sheets. Triple clean.

Here’s how I had the best first month:

  • Attend every onboarding session. When you understand how each team accomplishes their goals, you’ll learn how you’re making an impact on them. Ask a variety of questions about the process and the people, both technical and emotional, like “what aspects of a project are you bored of?” and “which project made you give and receive the most high five’s?”.
  • Do something you’re scared of. Without sounding like a “live laugh love” framed print, I volunteered to do a demo at work. Public speaking scares the living lollipops out of me, so I prepared and ran through my presentation with different audiences–my best friends, my mom, and a sweet old lady I visit every so often (she’s my “adopted grandma”). Great content is king, and the icing on the cake is delivery. My knees shake when I speak in public, so I walked back and forth to mask that.
  • Take breaks. When I had mental blocks, I broke through them by doodling the problem with no words or numbers, moving to a different space, or talking to my rubber ducky. Working through the problem in a completely different way really helps.

Other things that helped me have the best first month:

  • The managing partner adds me on LinkedIn
  • Co-workers message me with “I thought of you when I saw this…”
  • Coffee at work tastes pretty good
  • Air conditioning
  • Everyone else is a misfit like myself
  • The restroom is stocked with dental floss (❤ dental hygiene)
  • I was allotted 15~ minutes to talk about beer, followed by a Q&A
  • Google Apps
  • Having a super awesome classmate start the same day as me
  • Co-workers who celebrate each other’s achievements, no matter the size
  • Dogs who are photogenic
  • CSS slapchop guy
  • Offering my phone charger to someone to spark a conversation about mobile technology

What did you do to have the best first month on a new job?