Britt Marien joined Teal Partners in the beginning of October. We asked her to keep a diary of her first week. Enjoy the read!
Koen and Jelle: ‘Britt, we need someone to help keep things running smoothly. We are not quite sure yet what your job will entail, but we do know that we need a person with an operational mindset who makes sure things get done. That could be anything. Office management, events, administration, HR stuff, marketing. Anyway, there are things that are really urgent and things that just need to be picked up along the way. Are you up for this?’ Me: ‘100% YES!’
At nine o’clock, I walk out of the elevator and into my new job. Always exciting, that first day in a new office. What will the people be like, what are the rules, how are things done here?
At Teal, all that becomes clear very quickly: everyone is genuinely friendly, heartwarming and welcoming. There are no rules. And the things that don’t get done, are up to me to fix. How great is that?
Koen stops by my desk for a quick chat and gives me a brief overview of jobs I can get started on. I already picked up my laptop last week, which means I can start working straightaway.
Last week, a new colleague started. There’s some administration I can sort out to make sure all contracts are registered in the correct systems. Also, a list of prospects is needed for a project. In the afternoon, Jelle gives me an overview, mostly admin stuff, like invoicing, banking activities and bookkeeping. He repeats: ‘If you see anything that needs to be done, feel free to take action, and don’t be afraid to come up with ideas.’ Heaven!
Since my head is filled with new impressions and information, I decide to sort out the kithen cupboards. This helps calm the mind, according to my colleague Sarah. It works. Tired but satisfied, I go home.
Locating a missing order, logging and paying invoices, sorting out logins for software and dealing with my uncooperative computer: my day is flying by. Around lunchtime, there are problems with one of the servers. The floor is opened up. Three colleagues are fiddling with cables as instructed by a fourth one, who animatedly helps out via video chat. Everyone thinks this is completely normal. Brilliant!
At midday, we go to lunch at Otomat with a couple of colleagues. It does have its advantages, working this close to Het Eilandje.
In the afternoon, I let my computer think that it has bested me. I make a quick tour of the office to see if there is anything that needs to be reordered, like drinks, biscuits, pens or paper. And, because the kitchen cupboard tidy-up was so well received, I do the same in the meeting rooms.
Yana stops by to give me a list of questions. The idea is that, by chatting to colleagues, I find the answer to questions like ‘Who currently holds the Teal Challenge Cup and who is green with envy about that?’. The aim is to get to know my colleagues better. Preparation for the quarter-past-four drinks on Fridays. My partner has worked at Teal for a while, so I’d already heard some of the stories. Still, it’s not easy!
One of our colleagues has brought in a new customer. At Teal, successes are celebrated in a big way, which is why Koen asks me to arrange a nice present. My pleasure! There’s also quite a big stack of paperwork that has been building up for a while. I dive into it with great gusto. At Teal, new colleagues usually end up in a project team straightaway, where I have to find out things on my own. What software do we use? Where can I find this or that? How are certain things organised? Everyone is extremely helpful, but I add to my to-do list that we may want to create some sort of onboarding plan to make sure nothing gets missed. Stuff to think about. But that can wait; first, it’s back to Monday’s prospect list!
LinkedIn and Google Analytics, the holiday tool of SD Worx, bank applications, administration for an adjustment to our employment terms and conditions, prevention plans for Mensura: all things I need to do today. Maybe also have a think about a short coronavirus update on our Slack: how are we going to apply the new measures to the way we work, what to do when you become ill, what to do when a colleague becomes ill? ‘Britt, can you also take care of ordering lunch?’ Check!
Time for the real work: meetings!
At the top of the agenda, monthly HR meeting with my new colleagues. Straightaway, a few more tasks find their way onto my to-do list. An example? At Teal, we use a Flex Income Plan (FIP), a kind of benefits package you can put together yourself. In the next few weeks, I’ll be going over this package, adding to it and maintaining it for all my colleagues. Straight after that, we have a meeting with Toreon. They are going to help us get ISO certified. Everyone is at the meeting; some via video call because of coronavirus. It’s about setting up a secure workspace for all the data we come into contact with. We are given more information about the internal and external audit scheduled to take place in the near future. The rest of the day flies by. Before I know it, it’s quarter past four: drinks time at Teal, when colleagues get together over a beer or cola for a chat. Thanks to Tuesday’s list of questions, all kinds of stories are emerging about past teambuilding sessions and dreams for future ones. Not to worry, as soon as we can do so again, I’ll happily organise this!