Report: First Week as a First Class Citizen

When I lost my job 12 years and a month ago I learned that job seekers are treated like third class citizens. Or, maybe it’s just that we feel like we are treated that way. I remember checking my mail one day, as a job seeker… it was a beautiful day but the neighborhood was eerily quiet. I seemed to be the only human around.

Things changed, of course. I became a business owner (which has a lot of similarities to being unemployed) and an author (which was amazing), a professional speaker and a Pluralsight “author.”  I worked my way out of being a third class citizen, but it was seriously hard work, and it was years in the making.

This last week, everything changed. On Monday I started my dream job at BambooHR, a company that makes award winning software for small to medium businesses. I’m still pinching myself because this job is too good to be true and a part of me is wondering if I’m going to wake up from a dream. Alas, I made it a week and I still have the job! NOTE: I’m still running, managing, and keeping JibberJobber. Read about that in my announcement here.

My job at BambooHR is like a a combination of all of the things I’ve done over the last 12 years: I was brought in to create programs and products. I’ll explain more as we move forward, but I’m in my happy place of concept, strategy, vision, planning, etc.

So how was my first week? Well, I got reintroduced to the power of a real company culture. BambooHR was founded on the premise of “we want to create a great place to work so great work can take place,” even before the founders had figured out what what their product, market, or industry would be.  Isn’t that amazing? This company was built on “let’s build a great company culture” before even figuring out the money part of it! Bizarre, isn’t it?

Company culture was the foundation of this company, and they ferociously guard it. That is an amazing foundation, and it’s an honor to be able to be in it, and contribute to it.

I realize that this week I’m still in honeymoon phase. I’m still enamored by all of the new, and the transition. But I’ve talked to others, some who have been here for a few months and some who have been here years, and I’m seeing that this is real. Their investment in culture, and employees, is real. And that is amazing.

So how was my first week? I wrote a course at Pluralsight on how to onboard yourself (instead of waiting for HR to put you through an incomplete onboarding process). I’ve done some of the self-onboarding things from that course.  I’ve found that I am also anxious to just jump right into my work.

The first day was mentally exhausting, of course. I met a lot of new people (who know my name, and I’m learning their names). I learned a lot about company policy and spent I think two hours learning about all of the benefits and perks (holy cow!). I met with my boss for a couple of hours and got settled into my workspace.

The next three days I got a bigger and better vision as I was able to talk to my boss more, as well as have important conversations with people inside the company. This is new to a lot of people and it’s been interesting asking them what they think we are doing and what my role is. I spent Friday in my boss’s office (he is out of town) and filled up his entire whiteboard, then brought in another whiteboard (and filled it up) with a massive brain dump.

I’m super excited. I wish I knew the names of more people but that will come. The commute is not my favorite but it could be worse (I drive about 20 miles against traffic, so I am usually at the speed limit the whole way). I drive past a bunch of recruiting billboards and company offices and think “why would I ever work anywhere else?” Definitely honeymoon stage, which I’m hoping lasts a good three to twenty years :p

Last week (and today) I’ve spent about an hour of very focused work on JibberJobber each morning. I even got a couple of morning workouts in… today I was lucky enough to get up at 6 (instead of 4). My brain is just going and going and going.

So there’s my one week report. I feel like this is a fairy tale, a dream that I might wake up from. I know there will be bumps in the road but I’m very happy where I’m at, and thankful that I have a team at JibberJobber that is moving the product in the right direction.

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