My first six months at 3 Monkeys Zeno have flown by – I’ve sometimes felt out of my depth but I’m learning every day. Coming straight from university into work meant I had no real professional experience, and three years of working weekends waiting tables just didn’t seem to prepare me. But my lack of work experience had one major benefit. It meant I got to come into the office with fresh eyes and offer a new way of thinking, giving me an opportunity to provide value to my team from the beginning.
It’s been a great start to my career and here are my top three learnings so far:
- Teamwork *really does* make the dream work
When I first arrived, I was overflowing with questions – but would sit at my desk too awkward or afraid of looking stupid to ask for help. Instead, I would turn the question over and over in my head until the question finally escaped me. It was awkward, it was uncomfortable, and ultimately a waste of time – as once I finally asked the question I was always, always taken seriously.
Beyond this, my team would put time in the diary to walk me through the proper procedures for weekly reporting, for writing my first press release, and for collating and sharing coverage, even despite their busy schedules. With a continuous stream of support, I quickly recognised the most valuable asset to any JAE – the time (and patience!) of the team around you.
2. Listen to feedback
Of course, feedback is important when anyone tries to learn anything – I know this well from school and university – but coming into work here has shown me the importance of constructive criticism.
In the first few months I was a bit resistant to taking the praise I was getting because it didn’t match the perception I had of myself (although I think this is true for any new starter.) This started to change when I took greater note of the constructive criticism I was receiving. As time went on, and I started reading one against the other, the constructive criticism kind of authenticated the praise I was getting, boosting my confidence, and showing me the importance of balanced feedback to any new-starter.
3. Get involved in the company culture
I’m impressed with the company culture here at 3 Monkeys Zeno. We’ve got a ‘Fearless Wall’ celebrating the moments where we’ve defied the odds and been bold in our words or actions. We’ve had some great nights out, such as our recent hip-hop bingo night or our stellar Christmas party, and we’ve got stuff coming up in the calendar, too – I can’t wait for the darts and poker nights.
Beyond all of this, I’m impressed with the opportunities newcomers are given to get involved with the company culture. In just my third week in the job, a colleague invited me to help host our end-of-week celebration, a ritual in the office where two monkeys (our nickname for our colleagues) create a theme, serve a drinks trolley, deliver a round-up of news and finally play out a mini-game. Ours was a resounding success, and it gave me a way to make a name for myself in the office.