Ahh, Yarno. I’ve been here for a few short weeks, and it already feels like family. Although they kept telling me that my onboarding was a little different to what their desired plan was, I honestly wouldn’t have changed a darn thing.
The first day, I came in ten minutes later than expected. I was out of breath from running up the road. A little flustered, I entered the office and was greeted immediately by the ever-calm Liam: “Oh, hey Annette. How’s it going?” Mind you, we’d only met once through a computer screen, but he greeted me like we were old friends.
Thus began my Yarno onboarding experience. On two occasions, when I went in for handshakes, I was given hugs instead. I was very grateful for the team’s friendliness and warmth - to someone with first day jitters, it was like drinking from an oasis.
When Joel took me to my desk, there was a large pile of stuff on it. The first thing I saw was a piece of paper with my very own Yarno avatar on it, surrounded by welcome messages from the team.
As if that wasn’t enough, there was also:
- Dark chocolate from America
- Cheese-patterned Happy Socks
- A company MacBook Air
- A Yarno cap
- A Yarno T-shirt
- A Yarno hoodie
- A Yarno drink bottle
- A Yarno notebook
- Yarno stickers
- I’m sure I’m forgetting many, many things
Although I wouldn’t describe myself as a super gift-oriented person, I really loved the clear effort that had gone into welcoming me. It was a very special touch, and I immediately realised that this was a team that values their individual players. I’m not treated as just content employee number 3 - I’m treated as Annette, the girl who’s a bit quiet, loves writing, and is surprisingly unafraid of belting Katy Perry songs at karaoke night.
The welcome lunches
Over the course of my first week at Yarno, I was treated to lunch a total of three times. Once for my welcome lunch, once by the generosity of Joel, and once more for Sid’s welcome lunch. I was introduced to all the hotspots around the area: Marlie’s, Firehouse, and another great restaurant that I don’t recall the name of (it’s all a bit of a whirlwind in my mind at this point).
One of the things I learned from this was that it’s important to communicate what your needs are. I’m on the introverted end of the spectrum, and although I absolutely adore chatting to people, I prefer to do it on a one-on-one basis. Occasionally, group settings make me feel a bit like a hermit crab ducking back into its shell.
So, I’ve developed a plan. Over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to invite my fellow Yarnoers out on cute little one-on-ones, treat them to a snack, coffee, or other beverage, and simply have a good old yarn.
The best case scenario is that I get to bond closer with my team, get to know them better, and share more of myself. The worst case scenario is that it’ll feel like a series of awkward first dates - but actually I’m a bit of a veteran at those, so no dramas.
The nitty gritty
It wasn’t all fun and games through the first few weeks. I also started doing a bit of creative labour - joining in on WIPs, developing my own internal content, and delivering a Lunch and Learn. I even got an invite to the big strategy meeting, where I had ample opportunity to contribute ideas to the team.
Another clue that Yarno values the individual: I was given the freedom to choose any topic I wanted for my internal content and Lunch and Learn. Yarno wanted to get to know me, and that meant being receptive to my passions and interests. One thing I’ve always wanted to know more about was the topic of empathy, and how to communicate and manage relationships in an empathetic way. Upon telling Joel my idea, his eyes lit up like a Christmas tree, and he pretty much said “Go for it!”
The management style at Yarno seems very flexible and open. When I needed flow time to concentrate on content writing, I was encouraged to work from home or the library. On the other hand, when I needed to pester Joel and Erin with questions, they were consistently patient and thorough with their feedback. I was always in the driver seat of my own project, and I was given just the right amount of support based on what my needs were at any given time.
Sid and I pretty much joined at the same time, and we had a session booked in with each member of the Senior Leadership Team to learn about what they do day-to-day, and how our roles would fit into that.
We met with Paul to learn about product development, we met with Mark to get an overview of Sales, we met with Joel for Content 101, and finally we got the big Yarno values talk from Lachy himself. I personally really enjoyed learning about Yarno values, especially when we had to think critically about what each of the values meant to us. Delight the customer meant something slightly different to Sid than it did to me, and it was so cool to open up my mind to another perspective.
As a baseline, I’m a pretty emotional person, and not always in a bad way. When I’m happy, I’m ecstatic - and when I’m sad, I’m miserable. For me, joining Yarno was definitely a high point in the thrilling rollercoaster that is my life.
Sitting down for a one-on-one with content guru Joel has quickly become one of my favourite parts of the Yarno work week. The first time we did this, I had no idea what to talk about. I’d never been given such freedom to speak with a boss prior to this moment. But the conversation was so warm, personal, and encouraging that it literally brought me to the brink of tears.
My future at Yarno
I’m excited for my future at Yarno for many reasons. The people I work with are truly amazing, and I feel so lucky to have a spot at this desk. After so much searching around for a role and company that would fulfil my creative hunger, I’ve finally found a job that gives me a strong sense of joy and purpose. Feeling a solid 10/10, not stuck.
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