My Onboarding Experience as a Project Manager

Laptop, display light screen, and coffee mug all on a table with some form of Amazee Labs branding, along with blog title

The following highlights are what stood out for me during the three-month onboarding period: 

  • A well-structured, achievable onboarding plan
  • The first week to settle in at the office in Zürich
  • Daily 1:1s with my team lead and ongoing support with lots of patience
  • Open and constructive feedback to help me grow
     

WELL-PREPARED INTRO TO THE FIRST DAY AND WEEK
 

If like me you don’t like surprises, you will understand how much I appreciated getting all the details upfront about my first days and weeks at work. Thanks to our HR and Recruitment Manager, Matt Smith, I knew exactly what to wear, what to bring and how to find the office – on top of receiving a very well-structured, detailed onboarding plan which my team lead, Isabel Racine, had put together beforehand. It all helped me feel that I had no reason to be nervous about my very first day as an Amazee.

And I was absolutely right: after a very warm welcome and checking out my swag and starter package (all nicely decorated and waiting for me on my desk), the day was filled with many new names and faces, meetings and introductions as well as setting up hard and software to get me started. 
Code
The goal of my first week(s) was to settle in and get to know the team and it was made very clear that I wasn’t expected to “start working” right away. This made a huge difference to me since I wasn’t feeling pressured and could just focus on getting to know everyone and being myself.
 

ONBOARDING WEEK AT THE OFFICE
 

I was given the choice of whether I wanted to do my first week of onboarding from home or come to the Zürich office instead. Already been given the option showed that I wasn’t simply hired to do a job but that my thoughts and opinions actually mattered. And although I applied for a remote job because I prefer working from wherever there is a stable internet connection, I consider myself extremely lucky to have spent my first entire workweek in the Zürich office. 

Those first five days together with Isabel, who I would mainly work with during my 3-month onboarding phase, really helped me with settling in and getting to know each other. I was able to look over Isabel’s shoulder while she explained some of the processes, workflows and basics of Drupal. At the same time, I was able to ask any question I had straight away without having the “boundary” of having to ping her on Slack or call via Zoom. Thanks to that and my new colleagues, my first week turned out to be “Amazeeng” with a lot of fun together and delicious sushi for lunch at the end.
Sonja wearing a mask pointing to the Amazee Labs listing on the office index board and sushi lunch

PROBATION PERIOD TO HELP ME GROW 
 

The following three months just flew by and what really stands out for me is the continuous support I received from the whole team to get me up and running with the new job. The friendly, respectful and supportive way of helping each other is so unique and I can’t say often enough how grateful I am for everyone’s patience. 

I was able to take over and manage my own projects after only a couple of months thanks to daily one-on-one meetings with Isabel, shadowing her in client meetings, taking on smaller follow up tasks and covering for other PMs during their leave. 

What also helped me grow into my new role is the fact that everything around each project is very well documented and accessible to everyone in Confluence. I could easily read up on How-to-articles, project-specific processes or meeting minutes to better understand the history of the project.

Also, all the communication around projects is transparent and can be followed by everyone in the team in the respective Slack channels. This makes it easy to access information, give feedback and get other team members involved in case they’ve had similar issues or if you missed something. In any other environment, I would have been scared to make mistakes and felt watched all the time, but at Amazee Labs it’s exactly the opposite so I was grateful to receive constructive feedback to help me improve and learn for the future.
 

MY ONBOARDING EXPERIENCE - A TRUE EXPERIENCE
 

Looking back on my onboarding phase or probation period, it never felt like a test or a time where I needed to prove myself, as I first thought it might. At the same time, I would lie if I say it wasn’t a challenge (but an achievable one!) and admittedly I was my own worst critic at the beginning which increased the pressure.

Did I sometimes feel thrown into the deep end? Yes, of course, but it was the best way to learn! Did I have a ton of questions and feel stupid every now and again? Trust me, I did, but nobody else ever made me feel stupid.

My onboarding experience truly was an experience: it was the time that helped me most with growing into my new role, a completely new job field and team. And it didn’t just stop after those first three months. We still have weekly one-on-one meetings for project updates and bi-weekly sessions for answering project management or tech-related questions and I’m very excited to continue this next phase of my life as a PM at Amazee Labs.

If you’re considering making a change or need a new work environment that wholly supports you and helps you to grow in your role, I can really recommend Amazee Labs – have a look at our open positions and apply today, you won't regret it!

 

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