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Dear Future Colleague,
Having just joined us, you are likely aware that you are now part of an organization that has deeply humanistic values, is culturally bigger than the sum of its parts, and is full of people you will absolutely love working with.
As your colleague, future-me would like to offer you some of my observations and beliefs that might aid your transition from human to fully formed Reaktorian. Worry not: you’re in good company here. You will become more awesome – and you will be in charge of that process.
Reaktor is Wonderfully Weird
Working here might feel a bit awkward to start. I came from a combination of startup founding, freelancing, and traditional corporate work and thought I was already used to working “outside the norms.” I didn’t realize how deeply indoctrinated I still was by the autocratic and highly hierarchical ways of working I’d been taught all of my life. It comes with more baggage you might think. It’s not like that here.
My advice: Don’t worry about it. Significant change always comes with some discomfort. You will adapt at the speed you need to and then wonder how you ever worked in an environment where you didn’t get to make big decisions your own damn self!
You Might Learn to Listen
Reaktor is at its core a consultancy. You’re going to have to communicate directly with lots of people. Loads of them. This includes other future colleagues, our clients, and the public.
The more effectively we can exchange ideas and understandings, the better we can move forward toward our common purpose, whatever that may be at the time. That also includes expressing your uncertainty, lack of knowledge or skill, and making yourself vulnerable, which can be uncomfortably hard to do and definitely not often encouraged in the dinosaur land of Business!
My advice: Don’t worry about it. Fortunately, the culture here is suffused with an epic quantity of trustworthy communication professionals ready to help. Try your best to be open and honest with yourself and those around you, and remember to listen. Accept that you’ve got room to learn and relax in the fact you will.
You Are Not A Star
You are here because you are amazing, but in fact, you’re going to be working with a lot of people who are even more amazing than you in any area you can think of. I know a lot of places say that, but here I’ve really felt it. Prepare yourself.
Full disclosure, this can hurt and make the imposter syndrome worse than usual, but it’s all good. People here work really hard to keep their egos in check, and are usually pretty good at sharing the learning-love. And Reaktorians do love to learn.
My advice: Don’t worry about it. This is an opportunity for you to grow in any direction you want and you’ll find no shortage of folks eager to learn AND teach. You are one of them!
You Will Have To Make It Happen
In spite of all of the incredible potential here, the people, opportunities, dangers and joys, it is up to you to make it work.
We are a company full of grown-ups. That doesn’t mean dull, boring, uninspired, risk-averse old farts, it means that we take full responsibility for our own lives and happiness, at home, at Reaktor, and everywhere else.
We’ve been acculturated in our society to have the path laid out for us and measure our progress by a defined system — e.g, I am Software Developer Level 2. I know how to measure my success at my life by achieving Level 3 in under 6 months. You’re not going to get that here. Help is readily available, but there will be no boss here making sure you’re on target and meeting your KPIs.
My advice: Don’t worry about it. If a path will help, write one yourself. And don’t hesitate to ask for help. The power is yours, and it is awesome.
You’ll help me become better
I’m here because I want to learn too. Though we haven’t met yet, I’m sure you have a lot to teach me. Technology, Design, Strategy for sure, but also ways of moving through the world. I’ve been through my path in life and yours may have been very different. The chance to learn from you is one I hope to have.
You’ll help build the future of work
I don’t know if it’s come across, but I personally believe our culture here is even more important than our technical ability. It’s our secret sauce that helps us learn, grow, and adapt all while making this work incredibly satisfying.
I hope this letter was helpful. I can tell you with complete authenticity that Reaktor is one of the very few companies I would ever consider working for and I have zero regrets about joining. I hope you don’t either, and if you do, let’s make it better. Together! Please stop by wherever I am at the moment and say hello!
— Josh Reynolds, 2017