After six weeks of ‘funemployment’ (six blissful weeks off between roles), Alton has finally started his new career at Rambutan, as a consultant.
As I drove to the office that first day my mind was full of thoughts: Would I arrive on time? Was I dressed appropriately? Would they like me? Was I up to it (damn you imposter syndrome)? Having avoided being wiped out by a van on a blind bend, I finally arrived at Treetops, the home of the bunch.
I had been to the office before, as I was a client in the past, but this felt different, like my first day at school. David (the ‘boss’) greeted me on arrival and complimented my shirt, so at least I got the dress right! The rest of the day was meetings, hellos and beginning to get my head around this perfectly formed business. Ed, one of our apprentices had mapped out my week for me so I looked forward to a nice gentle introduction and went home tired but happy.
On day two the nice plans went out of the window. There was an urgent piece of work that needed to be done and it was a case of ‘all hands to the deck’. I was asked if I could help. My initial thought was, ‘It’s day two, how am I going to be able to help?’ However, I got stuck in and found that my ideas were valued and I could contribute to the work needed. Even though everyone was a little busy my new colleagues took the time to ask how I was feeling and helped me deal with my first week anxieties. The work took most of the rest of the week and on top of that I was asked to design a proposal and attend business meetings with David. In the end, my gentle induction week turned into a hectic week of getting stuck-in.
So, what have I learned about Rambutan and myself? Well firstly Rambutan’s collars and cuffs definitely match. The values that attracted me to work for them were definitely in evidence; from remembering that I drink soya milk (and having it in the fridge) to the constant trust, feedback, support and coaching offered by all the bunch. Secondly, I have learnt that sometimes, the best way to overcome those first week nerves is just to ‘feel the fear and do it anyway,’ trusting that your new colleagues will help you to succeed. Yes, it’s early days for me, but right now I feel proud to say ‘I am a consultant’.