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How to make the most of your first month at a tech startup

young woman working at a tech startup

ARTICLE SUMMARY

Stuart Day, Director, GR4, gives his advice on how to set yourself up for success in the first 30 days at a tech startup.

THE FIRST MONTH OF A NEW JOB CAN BE VERY OVERWHELMING.

You’re constantly meeting new people, trying to adjust to a new environment, and having to undertake tasks you’ve never done before – all while trying to make a good first impression. You’ll often find yourself worrying if you’re doing the right things, or if your manager and colleagues really like you.  

Stuart Day, Director, GR4

While it’s perfectly normal to feel this way, there are certain things you can follow to set yourself up for success in the first 30 days working at a tech startup. In this article, Stuart Day, Director, GR4, gives his advice on how to go about this.

Stuart is managing director of GR4, an organisation dedicated to delivering innovative and data-driven recruitment solutions to Europe’s tech startups and scaleups. Stuart is passionate about leading his team in supporting organisations to build an impressive legacy that will enable them to attract a skilled and diverse workforce.

PREPARE AN ELEVATOR PITCH TO INTRODUCE YOURSELF  

During the first month, you’ll be introduced to a lot of new people. It’s a good idea to prepare a short pitch that explains who you are, where you came from, and what you do in your new position. Being able to articulate exactly what value you add to the company will help employees see where you fit in the business and the type of things they can come to you for.  

SET A GOOD WORK-LIFE BALANCE FROM THE GET-GO  

While it’s normal to want to do everything you can to make a good impression, you should not let your new job overtake your life. Be strict with yourself during the day by organising yourself efficiently and listing tasks in order of priority. This will ensure you stay on top of work and prevent you from working unnecessary overtime or replying to emails late at night.  

UNDERSTAND WHAT’S EXPECTED OF YOU

During the first few weeks of your job, you’ll have the chance to get to know your manager and the startup’s founders. Make the most of your time with them to find out exactly what they expect from you. This will help build a close professional relationship with them and paint a clearer picture in your head of the work you need to do and the results you need to produce from it.  

ASK QUESTIONS  

There are no stupid questions when starting a new job. In a startup, you are in a unique position because of its smaller size. You are in close contact with other employees as well as the founders themselves. Take advantage of this and ask as many questions as you can. You’ll get up to speed much faster than trying to figure it out on your own and be able to approach your work in a more efficient way.  

GET TO KNOW WHAT EACH EMPLOYEE DOES  

Understanding who’s who in a startup is critical for gaining a clear picture of the company’s structure and who you need to network with on different projects. Take the time to get to know each colleague and the key stakeholders. Write down their names and what their duties and responsibilities are so you can ask them specific questions about their work to give you a greater understanding across the board.  

LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES AND ASK FOR FEEDBACK  

You’re not expected to be perfect at your job straight away. Mistakes are bound to be made in the first few months and employers know this. What you should focus on is how you deal with your faults. When you make an error, own up to it and take the time to go through the process to identify what went wrong. You’ll gain respect if you show resilience by carrying on and implementing changes to prevent errors from happening again.  

LISTEN AND LEARN  

You need to be like a sponge in the first few months at a startup. Listen to everything that your manager and colleagues say and absorb as much of it as you can. Take notes in every meeting you attend so that you don’t miss anything important and regularly read over them so that they stick in your head. This will set you up well for excelling in the future!

ENJOY YOUR NEW JOB! 

There are always going to be a few mountains to climb in the first month of working at a startup, and while it may feel overwhelming at times don’t forget to enjoy the process! Make sure you stay organised, be confident in your abilities to succeed and know that it’s okay to take a few wrong turns. You’ll be able to overcome any challenge that comes your way and you’ll soon get into the groove of working at the company.

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