• Emily Malone

My first month at oe:gen

It’s been one month since I started working at oe:gen, and this is what I have to say…

To date I’ve been very fortunate in my career progression, working within some great companies, engaging with great people and overcoming many challenges across multiple industries.

Leaving a company has always been a very positive experience for me. Each time I’ve decided to move on, it’s been on the basis that I’ve simply outgrown my position or require a more challenging environment to fully use my skillset and push myself forward. In either case, it’s always been on good terms with my employer and the old company’s doors have always been left hanging wide open should I ever want to return.

Starting a new job, however, is a totally different story. I’m no longer surrounded by people I‘ve known for years, no longer talking confidently about subjects I know inside and out. What systems are they using? What are their processes? Who are these people? What am I doing?!

Although it doesn’t normally take long for these fears to dissolve, the first few weeks in a new company can be tough, and on some occasions, I’ve found myself asking if it was too late to turn back!

oe:gen, on the other hand, was different. One month in and already I feel fully integrated, valued and my input respected. There have been no nerves, just a little self-doubt (I’m only human, after all), and only three outfits changes required on day one!

These are my top 5 reasons why…

They invest in developing their people

I’ve been at oe:gen for one month and I’ve already:

  1. Attended a Salesforce Women in Tech event

  2. Attended a Salesforce Administration User group

  3. Attended two agile events

  4. Received internal training on ‘guest speaking’

  5. And have a program of events already mapped out for the months ahead.

This is more training in one month than a whole annual program in previous companies. Encouraging and providing these soft skills really shows oe:gen is committed to developing their team and investing to support the growth of the company. This also doesn’t cover the personal development plans that are carried out and reviewed every three months to make sure each person is achieving their own personal goals!

The office

This might seem like an odd one, but I’ve always been envious when I see other companies’ Instagram posts of bean bag meeting rooms with their brightly coloured decor and popcorn makers. Well, not any more with the bright blue and yellow decor, whiteboard and blackboard walls, a foosball table, and on my second day being invited to a retro gaming lunchtime session… SAY WHAT?! I’m now ‘that person who works at that place’!

Not only is the office a bright, fun and inviting place to be, it’s also laid out in a way that encourages a free flow open environment. This means you can catch a quick relaxing meeting in the comfortable seating area or have a break while making a cup of tea looking over the living wall. You can even have two minutes thinking time while reviewing the inspirational wall of images submitted by each member of the team.

In one company, I wasn’t even allowed to have my kid’s first school photo on my desk due to it being a ‘distraction’, and yet now here I am with full access to the Spotify playlist. Get ready because here comes some old-school 1980’s hip hop!

The culture

Office culture… that’s a thing, right? Well, up until now I didn’t quite realise how important this was. From the team members to the biodegradable stationery, the oe:gen culture is the life force running through the veins of the company.

This not only sets the tone of the documents it produces, but also defines how the business is run, the message it sends out, who is working within the team, and who their customers are – going along the lines of “if you’re not a right fit, you’re not allowed in!”

Although the oe:gen team is equipped with an amazing set of skills, they also have to be a representative of the oe:gen culture. I’ve worked in companies where, although the IT department has adopted agile (or tried to) and is committed to improved change with open and honest communication, the rest of the company failed to also adopt the same culture. This means you’re constantly pushing water uphill, and no one wants to do that.

Culture also applies to the customer base; in order to have a healthy, long-lasting, productive relationship, our customers also must be the right fit. You can’t put a square peg in a round hole and expect everything to run smoothly. That’s not to say its oe:gen’s way or the highway – it’s about establishing a good fit and building a relationship and the shared agreement of how the projects are going to work, which turns the ‘ To whom it may concern’ emails to ‘Hey John, how was the camping trip?’

The people

The oe:gen team are more like a close-knit friendship group than work colleagues. They truly care about each other and have a supportive and inclusive ethos. For example, the development team have a concept of ‘swarming’, which isn’t something I’ve experienced in other workplaces.

‘Swarming’, for those of you (like me!) who don’t know, is when a particular development item is blocked or the developer has hit a creative road block. When this occurs, all the other Developers will put down tools (where possible), collectively ‘swarm’ together, review the item and help solve the problem or give some additional insight to support each other and remove the blockage… it’s brilliant!

The senior managers also sit amongst the team and encourage open and honest conversations. They have an open-door policy (possibly because there aren’t any!) and are all just as prepared to roll up their sleeves and dig in to help push projects to the deadline if needed.

Being truly valued

Having multicoloured hair, riding a motorbike and having visible tattoos can sometimes make me a target for pre-judgment, regardless of my technical ability or amazing personality! *wink*

In the past, I would always wash out any colour and cover up my tattoos, and this could sometimes span the whole of a probation period just to ensure that I don’t offend or scare someone within the company.

However, oe:gen accepted me for who I am and truly value the skillset and insights that I bring to the company, I was encouraged to speak up in meetings and my points and perspective were always considered. I was introduced to clients without hesitation and not judged on the clothes I wore or the colour of my hair, but encouraged to be myself, which make me feel truly valued.

I was really taken aback in my second week when Col, the project designer asked me to submit some of my own inspirational images to be included to the new kitchen table … instantly, I was made to feel a part of the building and part of the team and that my views and passions were important. It was a simple gesture that really made my day!

So, in summary…

When people ask me how I’m getting on, I can’t help but have a wide smile on my face and relay the above points.

I’m now working in a fun and exciting environment, a company culture that’s passionate about inspiring its highly skilled, inclusive people, with senior management fully investing in developing the whole team to ensure they’re providing the best possible outcomes for clients.

So, yeah! It’s not going too bad!