Field Notes: My First 90 Days as a Product Designer

Remote Onboarding, Meeting the Crew, & Imposter Syndrome

Onboarding

Ask Questions

Having never onboarded at a new company in the midst of a pandemic, I knew it would be different. I was curious about the logistics. Would I be led to an online platform to watch endless videos? Was there even an onboarding process? I received a meeting invite with our brainy IT guy Marcus and Brady, our HR representative. After Marcus confirmed my laptop was set up as needed, Brady and I reviewed company policies, tools, time off, organization chart — you know, the usual.

Meeting My Manager: Setting the tone

Earlier this year I went to the Dallas Black in Design UX Summitt. No joke, I heard the most solid career advice maybe ever. LaToya Hanes, HR Director at Intuit, dropped some knowledge that changed my entire career strategy. I won’t share all her secrets but a gem that served me well during onboarding. Setting two-way expectations with your manager. Here are four things to cover:

  • Establish your 1:1 meeting cadence
  • Your preferred way to be recognized for your work
  • Obligations outside of work
  • Meeting Cadence: We set a weekly 1:1 meeting to connect, talk wins, blockers, and a mental health check.
  • Recognition: We have a tool used to manage our goals and give praise to anyone in the company and share it on Slack. More public than I like but hey, it’ll be a solid repository of promotion evidence during my review.
  • Obligations: Did I mention I have 3 kids? (Yeah, I can’t believe it either.) Parenthood can be unpredictable. I made sure their existence was known.

Meeting the Crew

I’m an introvert, so socializing tends to make me anxious. In this case, I felt anxiety around how I would be received. I was the second person to join the crew since COVID-19 put everything on its ear. Was I to endure awkward Google Hangouts hoping things would be different when we met in person?

  • Establish a rapport
  • Ask questions about their experience at Dialexa
  • Get their tips for what made them successful when they got started

Imposter Syndrome

Sigh … imposter syndrome is a real pain in my ass. Well, not just my ass … it affects 70% of the world's population. LGBTQ, minorities, Millenials, and women are most affected. I have 3 out of 4 there. Imposter syndrome can completely paralyze you if you’re not keeping it in check.

  • Set expectations with your manager
  • Make an effort to connect with your colleagues
  • Imposter Syndrome: Close knowledge gaps to improve your confidence and identify a peer mentor to create a safe space and ally.

Digital product designer at Dialexa, advocate for BIPOC, speaker, and hustler.