When you join a fast-growing tech company like Lucid, the experience can be exciting, demanding and overwhelming all at the same time. Before jumping in headfirst, it’s important to know what to expect from a new company. Here are some tips to help you better understand tech company culture and how to become a strong asset to the team.
Building your network and developing relationships are key to professional success at any business, but at a growing company, it allows you to better navigate the constantly-changing landscape. Seeking out others that started around the same time as you can be productive, as you’ll have a number of the same tasks during the onboarding process. Building these relationships, especially with those employees that work in other parts of the organization, will give you resources from which to gain insights into how other teams interact with the business. It will also broaden your understanding of the company, its values and culture.
Ask all the dumb questions.
Worried about looking like an idiot because you asked too many “dumb questions” during your first week at a new job? Imagine how bad you’ll look if you ask them after you’ve been there six months. It’s best to assume that no one else knows what they’re doing during the orientation/training sessions, so you should ask as many questions as you need.
Entrepreneur.com has some great advice for this topic: “Every time you have a question in your head, and you’re nervous to ask it for fear of looking dumb, assume that there are three to five other people in the room with the same question. Just ask the question.”
Learn to get comfortable with change, fast.
When growth is the objective, that can mean constant change and iteration of the business, which can also mean constant change and iteration of roles and the people in them. Being adaptable to the changing of your day-to-day responsibilities and volunteering to take on projects outside of your current scope can be keys to getting ahead and differentiating yourself.
Figure out what defines success in your new role.
It’s easy to get distracted by the monitors and blinking lights around the office showing various organizational metrics. So, it’s important to learn exactly how your success will be measured within the business. This will allow you to remain focused on learning the relevant aspects of your job while getting up to speed on everything else going on in the business.
Challenge the status quo and leave your mark.
That process you need to follow that you assume has been well planned, researched, thought-through and communicated? The truth is, it was probably hastily pushed through late on a Friday afternoon as a result of an angry email from a client. Newer employees have, possibly more than seasoned veterans, the green light to ask, “Why do we do things this way? Is there a better way we could do this?” Don’t be afraid to ask questions, as this will help better your understanding of the business and will help bring to light potentially out of date processes that are “the way we’ve always done things.”
Focus on career development, not just career path.
This is especially true earlier in your career, while you’re trying to determine what you want to work on and what you enjoy. Career development focuses on how you are going to improve the skills you want in your professional toolkit, while a career path focuses on achieving a higher status or title for your current role.
Focusing on your career development is process-focused and well within your control, while your career path is results-focused and based on a number of other factors within the business. Be honest with your manager about your desired career path, but spend your time focused on and worrying about your career development.
Most importantly, you need to believe in yourself. Don’t forget that the company hired you for a reason – and now it’s time to build your skill set, lean into new challenges and focus on your professional growth.