Experiences· 5min October 27, 2023
I joined Form3 as a Senior People Partner about 6 months ago.
I’ve been working as a People Partner for a number of years across various industries, but this is my first role in a FinTech company in a remote-first culture.
Believe it or not, I was 9 months pregnant and about to start my maternity leave when I started to interview with Form3.
When a friend told me about the role, in all honesty, I was a little bit hesitant. I was about to have a baby, wasn’t planning on cutting my maternity leave short and just couldn’t imagine that any company or employer would be prepared to wait almost a whole year for me to join.
The experience I had interviewing as a candidate for my role at Form3 was the best I’ve had in my career so far. Our Talent Acquisition Team scheduled things in a way that worked best for me and my family. They were warm and welcoming, and feedback about the various interview stages was super timely. There were no long waiting times that I’m sure we’ve all experienced in the past. And if you are wondering about Form3’s interview process, you can read more about it in this other recent blog post our very own Talent Team have written!
Turns out Form3 is a very special company. They were willing to wait for me (that alone speaks volumes about them as an employer) and 11 months later, I started my journey with Form3.
Ahead of my first day, my shiny and new IT equipment was posted to my house, and I was busy designing my home office set-up. Here at Form3, we use an online platform called Hofy on which you can rent office equipment and create exactly the working-from-home setup that you want. I was ready to kick things off!
‘My first week’ at Form3 was really my first month, by choice. Returning to work after a year filled with baby-sensory classes, I felt that my ‘work brain’ needed a little time to adjust and re-activate. I am very grateful that I was allowed the freedom to ease back in to work life gradually.
For the first month I only worked 1 day a week to allow myself to get back into the swing of things post maternity leave. That’s how my first week experience span over a whole month. Flexibility is big here at Form3. I appreciate that my situation as a new joiner was quite unique, so l will refer to this period as ‘my first week’ for the sake of this blog.
During my first week I:
Met my team
Was welcomed by our CEO in our weekly company-wide Monday Meeting
Met my Onboarding Buddy
Completed mandatory trainings (as a cloud payment provider working with banks this is mega important)
Learned about our internal info hubs, the tech, tools, and resources that we use on a daily basis
My Form3 swag also arrived during that week – an exciting day! Photo credits go to our lovely API Experience - Business Analyst, Corina Badeanu as I forgot to take a photo myself.
After the initial settling-in phase, I learned about the ways of working, I soaked in the culture and learned a lot just by listening and observing. I was assigned my first project which involved an international HR audit (something I had experience in already). It allowed me to really deep dive into how Form3 operates, and how responsibilities are distributed amongst the team and across the company. It helped me to understand the bigger picture and having that initial ‘soaking-it-all-in' period, consequently enabled me to share ideas and thoughts, so that I could contribute to the team’s success.
Here are some tips for anyone starting a new job:
Listen and observe - Initially, try to absorb as much as you can. You’ll probably end up with a lot of questions, write them down and take them to your team or manager. You’ll likely get really good insight really quickly.
Review and explore the tools and resources available – Take some time to dive into the info that is out there. Your company might also have info hubs that hosts a lot of employee resources.
Share ideas – You’ll have a fresh pair of eyes. Use that insight to share new ideas and contributions that you think could make things even better.
Meet people - If you’re on a remote team, schedule virtual coffee chats with your new teammates and key stakeholders to have one-on-one time with each person. Meet people outside of your own team. One of my favourite slack apps here at Form3 is Donut – an app that will randomly pair you with a another Form3 employee each month for a chat and a coffee.
A couple of months ago I certified as a Mental Health First Aider, something really close to my heart and that I had been wanting to do for a long time already. I feel incredibly lucky that I was given the opportunity to do this so early on in my journey with Form3. I used some of my Learning Days to complete the course (paid time off to learn and upskill!), and the cost was covered by my L&D allowance. You can read more about our culture of continuous learning in a blog post written by our Senior Learning & Development Partner, Kevin Crawford.
Since I started, I’ve been able to work with some incredible people on some exciting projects. For example, we just launched a new and updated Employee Onboarding Guide – a step-by-step guidance doc for new joiners that covers everything from pre-boarding to first month essentials, all in one place. I’ve also looked at how we operate internationally to ensure that we are compliant with local legislations; and have co-launched training courses on Women’s Health and Men’s Health, as we want to normalise conversations about these topics at Form3. We also want to educate to be better able to support ourselves, our colleagues, friends and family members that may be impacted by physical or mental health issues.
The remote-first culture at Form3 means I have the freedom to work from home, and I am able to flex my working hours around my personal life. I’m never stuck in traffic or on the train for nursery pick-up or drop-off, and I can take our dog out for a long walk during lunchtime, soak in some rays of sun and free some much-needed headspace, so that I can get back to work, feeling refreshed. It’s made such a difference to our family, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.