First 30 days in a New Product Design Job

Your first 30 days as a product designer in a new job is crucial. If you have recently shifted to a new environment this post is for you.

How to perform at your new Product Design Job in the first 30days.
Photo by Johannes W / Unsplash

Your first 30 days as a product designer in a new job is crucial. If you have recently shifted to a new environment this post is for you 👇

Here are some tips to handle your first impressions:

1. Observe relentlessly: You are in a new space with new people, talking new things. This is the time to observe how things work internally to produce the results you see externally as a business. Watch who are movers and shakers. Watch who influences whom. Observe what gets rewarded and what gets punished in this space. Who has the power and who doesn't. Who gets things done and how. It's fun to watch these human behaviors when you are new and uncontaminated.

2. Network personally: When someone notices you are new, share some nuggets about you. Have a 3 line, 30 line and 300 line Ramayan about you ready. Share what is appropriate for the context. Don't ramble. Respect people's time and interest about you.

On the contrary, deliberately network with your product team (the team you are a part of) and see if you can spend some time post office to catch up (coffee/beer etc).

3. Schedule product understanding sessions with the stalwarts of the team. Ask them to share their knowledge in loom videos or live sessions (based on their preference). Set the stage. Ask specific questions ahead and allow them to explain. Deep dive into what you have to know and what is good to know. Move from 30000 ft to 3ft and get variety of perspectives. Your questions are your key. People are more forgiving when you are new.

4. Initiate some icebreakers with your product team. Ask them to be a part of your sessions and make them comfortable. Get some vada/donuts depending on the culture. Make yourself a part. No one is going to do that for you. Play games, share stuff, laugh and make coffees for your colleagues. Wish someone told me all this when I moved jobs.

5. Once your understand the culture of the org, set your routines and systems that work in this new place.
Eg: No emails. More slack.
More meetings. Less work time. (some shocks are real)
No late night messages or otherwise (Noted).
Schedule your email during the office hours.
No gossips and water cooler strictly for first 2 months.
Set some ground rules and see what works.

Check for signals and noise. Cut the noise and amplify the signal.

At the end of 30 days, share your learnings and understanding of business, product, product team, culture, customers, competitors and yourself to the team so that you can officially set in. No one will have time to listen to you, so share the nuggets as you go but prepare yourself and progressively compound your understanding. More than everyone else, you should feel you are a part of the team. Act more.

In this period, it is mandatory to deliver what you are asked to. Respect your leaders and do what they ask you to. Share your opinions and ideas post your delivery. Not at the cost of your delivery.

Add value. That is all that matters at the end of the day.