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Should it be so hard to start a new job?

Rowin HeymansRowin Heymans

It’s never easy to start a new job, is it?

This is a question I got a couple of times over the past few weeks. People seem to think that starting a new job is always something of a hassle. The question is, should it be?

Allow me to introduce myself

My name is Rowin Heymans, I’m 30 years old, married and father of an amazing little toddler called Juliette. I finished my Bachelor in Applied Informatics in 2006 and have been working for a couple of companies ever since. I’m also working on obtaining my Master in Commercial Sciences through evening classes.

I started my career as a developer and have grown (moved?) into the job of analyst over the past few years. A few weeks ago I started as a Business Analyst / Project Manager at ACA (or BA/PM for you acronym lovers out there).
The whole process of getting here started a couple of months ago, when I was having a couple of beers with 2 good friends of mine (Thomas Borghs and Toon Convents) and they started (and didn’t stop) boasting about this ‘amazing’ company they were working for.

The start of my ACA Adventure

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I wasn’t on the hunt for a new job, but hearing them talk about ACA tickled my curiosity, so I decided to check out the company website. A few clicks and an e-mail later I was invited for my initial interview.Three rounds of interviews followed before they made me an offer to join ACA; we agreed I would start at the beginning of August.

A couple of days later I received a call from Ine (our HR manager) asking me if I wanted to join for the ACA weekend. I was a little surprised, since the weekend happened to be BEFORE I would start at ACA, but apparently, that was no issue. Unfortunately I couldn’t join due to family obligations, but I still regret it and I already look forward to the ACA weekend of 2015. 🙂

Team Weekends and BBQ’s

Afterwards, to make up for not coming to the ACA weekend, I did join for the yearly BBQ, preceded by one the internal meetings. This internal meeting is something I will not soon forget. We all know how those internal meetings go. The CEO shows and elaborates a bit on the figures of the past period, everyone claps. Another member of the management team shows some facts and figures of the past period, everyone claps but starts to hunger for the after-meeting drink or to go home. Someone talks a bit about an achievement of the company, everyone claps but doesn’t necessarily know what this last talk was about. And then everyone drinks, laughs and forgets everything that was said during the previous 2 hours. Right?
Wrong. There was indeed a presentation by the CEO and by someone else from the management team. But instead of letting everyone forget, we were all invited to split up into smaller groups and discuss, brainstorm, think and give feedback about what they explained. This form of interaction is something I haven’t seen before and I’m sure is one of the reasons why Toon and Thomas were so full of ‘their’ company.

ACA Team Weekend

The on-boarding day!

Beginning of August, my first day at ACA finally arrived, the on-boarding day! I received my laptop (a Macbook), car, all login details, an overview of all internal applications, and a full explanation on how to combine all those things to be able to do my job. First thing: I was and still am surprised to see the amount of knowledge sharing going on on our (I can say our now!) internal wiki. Course material, e-books, reports on Special Interest Groups (SIGs), documentation about the tools used in the company, but especially: all the information you would ever need on our way of working: Agile.
And not just agile as a buzzword, no, actual agile. Scrum, Kanban, Lean, Domain Driven Design … All these concepts are embedded within everyone at ACA. And everyone is more than happy to share all their knowledge to get you up to speed as soon as possible.

Don’t be so blue

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A couple weeks later I was scheduled to go to the Insights Discovery workshop. For you that don’t know what Insights is, I encourage you to go here and get acquainted with it. Simply put, what they do is make a profile of you based on the typology of Jung and pour this into a chart to which they assigned 4 colors: blue, red, green and yellow.

The Insights colors / profiles are one of those concepts ingrained in the company culture of ACA. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve heard someone refer to someone else or him/herself as one of the colors: “Wow, that was so yellow of me” or “Oh, don’t be so blue’ aren’t unusual statements to hear during lunch or a meeting.

Something went wrong for my profile, but during the training it was established by my co-trainees and the trainer that my profile would most likely be dominated by the yellow and blue color. As these are opposing colors, my colleagues already labeled me ‘special’ (I guess they don’t want to use the word ‘weird’).

So, should it be so hard to start a new job?

So, to come back to my initial question: should it be hard to start a new job?

Looking at my first weeks at ACA, the answer to that would be a resounding NO. If the colleagues, the atmosphere, the job … all fit with who you are, you’re more than likely to just feel at home from day one.

 

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Great post. Articles that have meaningful and insightful comments are more enjoyable, at least to me. It’s interesting to read what other people thought and how it relates to them or their clients, as their perspective could possibly help you in the future.