It all started with the obligatory tour and awkward introductions. You know the drill: you utter your name, hope you got your job description right and accompany all of that awkwardness with a nervous smile. Luckily, everyone pretended I was awesome. Before I knew it, I even had a lunch-buddy! The tone was set: this surely would become my second home.
Needless to say that I felt very welcome. More importantly was the fact that I also felt valued from the start. There hasn’t been one moment during which I felt like my opinion was worth less. Sure, I am a junior – but my colleagues allowed me to grow by giving me just the right amount of responsibilities and support where necessary. By displaying a belief in my competences, I felt so much more at ease to gradually broaden my comfort zone.
Even if all of this sounds pretty kumbaya, this is exactly what I need to believe in myself and be proud of the work I deliver. The everyone-makes-mistakes attitude is a huge plus as well. I often have issues understanding that we do indeed all make mistakes. So I made a booboo? I can always rest assured that no one will throw a hissy fit. Instead I (most of the time) get proper feedback which helps me to learn from my mistakes rather than making me feel like a total loser.
It may sound like a cliche, but there truly is a great atmosphere
The Reference has an insane amount of experts, providing plenty of folks to look up to. These experts are ‘used’ in the best way possible, even going as far as giving in-house workshops to educate us newbies. These trainings helped me find my way on every path of the wonderful digital world. I got in touch with the basics of almost everything The Ref has to offer, making sure I understand my colleagues’ jobs better and giving me an idea of my own future within the company.
The best part, however, is the atmosphere amongst colleagues. There is no backstabbing, no unnecessary competition, no badmouthing. I feel like my co-workers are more than just people I work with and say hi to when we meet at the coffee machine. There’s a very friendly culture, more like we are some sort of big family of amazingly cool people. None of it feels forced, none of it endangers the work. Quite the contrary: this culture actually makes me look forward to work and to seeing my co-workers again. AKA, this culture feeds my motivation to give my best effort so that I can continue to grow at The Ref.
While writing this, I feel a lot less like a total newbie. I levelled up, learned a lot and am feeling more comfortable to push my boundaries all the way to the other end of the world. Because let’s face it. The Ref is taking over the world and I’m very glad to help them to do so.