First day “scaries” are nothing new. Especially not for a timid, 21-year-old university student trying to navigate the unfamiliar corporate world (a tech company). For her, it’s no walk in the park.
That girl was me, about 8 months ago. I expected to feel like a fish out of water when I started. Despite having some prior work experience, I had no idea what to expect from my new job—but can you blame me? It’s a whole new environment, completely different from the comfortable University setting I was leaving behind. I was about to be surrounded by a bunch of people whom I’ve never met and have years on me, still wasn’t fully fluid in corporate jargon, and I hadn't even thought of a non-basic “fun fact about myself ” to share with everyone on my first day.
Despite all the nerves and the unnecessary mental prepping days leading up to it, I was so incredibly excited to begin my “Jostle adventure,” and everything that it entails. Gaining valuable and relevant work experience is always priceless. I knew I wanted to work in an environment that felt new, challenging, inspiring, and would help me achieve my career goals in marketing. Hence why I feel privileged to work at a company with many people that I now look up to.
Before I dive in further, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Francheska, and I am a 4th year Communications major at Simon Fraser University (SFU), who landed a fantastic co-op job in Vancouver, BC. I strongly believe that Jostle helped me with my personal growth over the last 8 months, and I’m pleased I’m able to share with you my story today.
Engaging people with awesome company values
My first four months at Jostle have been anything but ordinary (I mean this in a good way). In my first week, I spent 3 days participating in a company-wide fiesta a.k.a JostleFest. During JostleFest, all employees are invited to join for some fun, in-person collaboration to learn about what’s going on in the company, and to simply have a good time!
This unconventional onboarding experience was (in my opinion) the perfect introduction to their staff and company culture. The company greeted me with a very warm welcome. As I spent my first three days at Jostle mingling across teams, learning more about the platform, and absorbing company values, I soon realized that I’d quickly feel like I belonged. My role at Jostle made sense.
From May to August, I was met with different challenges which followed a 30-60-90 day plan that had specific goals for each month. Breaking down my responsibilities into monthly chunks allowed me to engage with the company. These activities immersed me in the company culture. I got to meet my colleagues, understand Jostle’s internal processes, and internalized the company values and how it translated to the work that I was doing.
A sense of belonging really transpired since the start of my term. By maintaining clear communication with my team and my supervisor, it allowed me to believe in the company and my work, and be aware of what’s going on in the workplace.
Enabling employees to eliminate blockers
One of the many ways that my team helps me feel enabled is through consistent and transparent communication which helps me with my overall performance, and prevents me from feeling frustrated at work.
I have regular check-in’s with my team and my supervisor, which are one of the many ways we inform each other about our current projects and tasks, and our individual progress.
In other words, it helps us get work done.
I also received plenty of hands-on training. It’s the reason why I feel like I have the tools that I need to contribute. Both my supervisor and the team lead coached me throughout my experience in the workplace and the knowledge they shared allowed me to make meaningful contributions.
Now that I've been with Jostle for almost eight months, I’ve taken on more responsibilities and I am more independent in my role. The support that I received from co-workers built a strong foundation for the remainder of my term. I get my work done quickly. When I need a certain file or document, I know where to look—without any frustrations or roadblocks. And if I have any questions, I can communicate with transparency and quickly find support I need.
Celebrating individual, team and organizational success!
My coworkers don’t let accomplishments go unnoticed. The Jostle platform allows employees to give a shout out to a coworker, recognizing their excellent work. It’s also pretty standard for Jostlers to go out for team lunches to celebrate successes.
Little things like showing appreciation for one another, and lending some words of encouragement is so important. This mattered in my life because it made me feel excited to work, and it feels like the final piece of the puzzle that helps me feel successful.
There’s no “i” in team. Whether I'm on the receiving end of a shoutout or not, this isn’t only a reflection of myself but also a reflection of the company at large. The shoutouts coupled with social hangouts definitely made a lasting impression on me. One that made me feel energized and willing to contribute more.
My employee success journey
My experience taught me that feeling successful requires having three pieces of a pie. The first requires having a spectacular team that makes me feel like I belong. The second is having the means to contribute without feeling like anything is blocking me. And the third is being recognized, celebrated and appreciated for all the hard work that I've been able to do.
I feel very fortunate to have a solid foundation that sets me up for success. I learned that the key to feeling happy and productive at work is to feel like I’m part of something larger than myself. When it’s time for me to say goodbye, I know that I’m leaving with a bunch of memories and experiences that will help me move forward in my career.
I’m not exactly sure what comes next. However, I know that having this knowledge under my belt has provided me with the right tools to become a better candidate for my career in the future. After this co-op, I’ll be going back to school and finishing my degree. From there, I'll be embarking on my next chapter, and I can’t wait to apply everything I've learned in other aspects of my life!