Before starting at Actionable just four weeks ago, I had been self-employed for over ten years, running a women’s only fitness center with my family. The first few years were thrilling, and then as operations began to stabilize, I found that the work was losing its lustre. Somewhere along the line, I became stuck in a routine, and started to feel that I had taken the business as far as I could. During that time, I had three children, and took a bit of a step back from day-to-day operations. I started to lose my drive.
And then I heard about an opening at Actionable. Part of what attracted me the position was the speed and agility of the organization. It is a fast-paced, technologically savvy company, made up of diversely talented individuals. This was very appealing, but also quite intimidating—definitely a change from my previous work environment, and a huge step outside of my comfort zone. When considering joining the Actionable Team, I have to admit, I had a few concerns.
Would I fit in? Could I keep up? Would I get lonely working remotely everyday? Would I still be able to spend time with my family? Would I be able to manage my time as I had become accustomed to?
Despite all of these lingering anxieties, I knew I had to explore further.
The Interview Process
I applied to the Discovery Session Coordinator position, and quickly scheduled interviews with both Chris Taylor and Peter Nakamura. This was my first introduction to a new technology—the interviews would be held in a Zoom Room (virtual meeting room). Prior to the first interview, I was so concerned that I wouldn’t be able to log in properly that I kept launching the Zoom meeting application to test it. At the time I didn’t realize that other people could be using the room, and that my nervous face might suddenly appear in the middle of a discussion. Thankfully I didn’t interrupt any meetings.
My first interview was with Chris, and he made me feel comfortable right away. It was not the typical grueling interview process that I anticipated. Instead of him asking a barrage of questions, we had a conversation. By the end of the interview, I felt like he knew me as a person, not just as a job candidate, and could therefore evaluate me as a fit for the company. I had the same experience with Peter. Both were easy to talk to, very interested in what I had to say, and extremely passionate about Actionable. Their enthusiasm was contagious, and I knew I wanted to be a part of the team.
Onboarding at Actionable
On my first day, I was set up with access to a number of tools I’d never used before—Slack, Infusionsoft, LastPass, etc.—and had to learn to navigate new applications quickly. I also had to get used to the common language used by the Actionable team (now a regular fixture of my vocabulary). What did it mean to look at something from a high level? From my background in science, I was used to this meaning greater attention to detail. At Actionable, it means “the big picture.” The word bandwidth also gets tossed around often. Do you have enough bandwidth to support this? I assumed everyone was asking about the functioning capabilities of my network, so of course I kept saying yes. Thirty projects later, I realized they were asking if I had the time or ability to take on more work. Lesson learned.
Through all of this, it was Actionable’s well-thought out onboarding process that was instrumental in getting me up to speed, and contributing quickly in my new role.
Each new team member is provided access to an online training program: videos, worksheets, and links to further resources are all available in one easy-to-access place. I was also assigned a “new hire buddy,” a team member from another department who scheduled weekly calls specifically to check in on my transition. Screen sharing has made training on new systems a breeze, the expertise of the entire team is one Slack message away, and when we need (or want) to connect face to face, we can pop into a Zoom room. I don’t feel lonely, I feel like I belong.
Hitting My Stride
After four weeks, all of my initial concerns have melted away. I love waking up, starting my computer and letting the creative juices flow. I am encouraged to get involved in projects that span across departments. Everyone trusts that I will get the job done correctly, on my own schedule. If I have an idea or an interest, and can reasonably show how it will positively impact the company, I can take the initiative and own the project.
I don’t feel like I am working under someone, I feel like I am working with a collaborative group of equals. I am challenged and engaged, and I want to learn and contribute.
Actionable’s values shine through in every aspect of the company. We don’t have meetings, we have conversations. Everyone’s ideas and opinions matter. We can make mistakes, admit we need help, try new approaches, and ultimately be human. This environment empowers us to put forth our best efforts, and produce amazing results. We don’t get told what to do, yet we go above and beyond because the work stimulates and excites us.
It’s amazing how much my life has changed in the four weeks since I started working at Actionable. My biggest takeaway (another phrase from the Actionable lexicon!) so far, has been that great things can happen at the edge of your comfort zone. Being challenged isn’t always entirely comfortable, but it can produce great results. This is where the good stuff happens, and I don’t want to miss out on any of it.