There can be a lot of uncertainty when starting a new job. Whether it’s your first job or your fifth, there will always be anxiety and questions on the first day. What projects or clients will I be working on? Will I work well with my manager and my team? What’s the office environment like? Will I like my coworkers? Will I be able to make an impact? Have I made the right choice?
All of these questions raced through my head when I walked into Civis Analytics for my interview and my first day, but many of them vanished soon after. Throughout the day and the first week, new co-workers and teams were eager to engage with me and answer my questions. Being a smaller company, teams constantly interact with each other and often hold cross-department meetings. New hires are also encouraged to grab coffee with anyone in the company and pick their brains. Almost everyone I met with gave me this advice: keep asking questions!
I quickly learned that Civis is an open company in both design and philosophy. Our office is complete with convertible desks, a shared kitchen, and designated communal and quiet areas to get work done. We are constantly pinging each other in chat room channels and sharing cool articles or new tools we’ve built. We also dedicate time each month to formal and informal presentations; I recently gave my first lightning talk and heard my coworkers talk about the intricacies of Russian societal norms, Community Benefits Agreements (CBAs), and Vietnamese cuisine.
My first day at Civis concluded with All Staff, our weekly company-wide meeting to learn what’s happening on different teams and share projects we’ve been working on. We heard from our Washington DC office, who shared the work they’ve done with non-profits that will ultimately benefit thousands, if not millions, of Americans. It was amazing seeing how engaged everyone was and how anyone, from the new hires to the CEO, were stepping up to the microphone to ask follow-ups and share successes.
I’m now on my third week at Civis and my excitement has not diminished; the work is always changing and new ideas are constantly being played with. Although there’s still a lot to learn, I’m starting to contribute on client projects and provide a perspective on tackling problems. It seems that I have more questions now than when I first started, but that’s okay because I know my coworkers have similar questions and we can answer them together.