93: First 30 Days with Natalie Ruhl

93: First 30 Days with Natalie Ruhl

Natalie Ruhl has been in her current role for three years, but reflects back to her first 30 days, and how it compares now she’s onboarding folks into her own team.


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Charlotte Ward 0:14
Hello, and welcome to Episode 93 of the customer support leaders podcast. I’m Charlotte Ward. The theme for this week is the first 30 days in your new role. So stay tuned for five leaders talking about that very topic. I’d like to welcome back to the podcast today. Natalie Ruhl, Natalie. It’s lovely to have you back again. The topic for this week is the first 30 days in your new role.

Natalie Ruhl 0:42
Oh, hi, Charlotte. Thanks for having me again. And I think you know, in hindsight, like my first month at SoundCloud was quite turbulent. There was a lot going on. It was right at a time when the company was going through a massive restructuring. It was probably different than your usual first 30 days. But in hindsight and also something that like I tell people that stuck with me, you know, when they go through the onboarding, is just absorb and listen, you know, there’s so much information, onboarding sessions with HR with other teams just try and be, you know, as active as listeners, you can be absorbed let stuff settle. I remember my first two weeks, I got home in the evening, and I was just staring at a wall and was just like, Oh, God, like, I don’t know how I’m gonna absorb all the information. I probably won’t remember anything the next day. But it was, you know, nonetheless very interesting to just give into the vibe of the new place, get to know some people and just listened to what they have to say, and where they came from, what their role was, how they approach certain things. It was just very interesting. And to this day, like there’s, I think two people still that the company that started with me, we were a pretty small startup group that has Like immersive therapy, so to speak, is to like, really immersing yourself into this new situation without really needing to fix anything right away without having that like, responsibility of like, I have to come in, I have to do something right away. And I have to like, show that I’m like, worth my place here. I think, you know, it was just much easier and much less stressful for me than it could have been,

Charlotte Ward 2:27
is overwhelming. You’re right, isn’t it? I think I’m on day 60 of my new role, give or take few days now. And it is overwhelming the first 30 days the amount of notes that I took, I forgot what it was like to onboard into a new role where you know nothing about the product or the people beyond what, what’s got you through an interview process to this point, right. I’ve pages and pages and pages of notes from those early onboarding sessions, and I think it’s fair To say that at the end of most of those evenings I, I retained very little consciously. And I think what I came to realise was that over time over the first month, by virtue of listening and taking all of those notes and eventually joining pieces together, you do suddenly come to a point of understanding and I think it’s quite a surprise when suddenly you realise, you know, some stuff about the situation you’re in.

Natalie Ruhl 3:27
Absolutely. And I think these like first notes that you take, like, coming to that point where they click into place, or where you join some dots by meeting someone from another team, that just fills the gaps. That’s a super great feeling. You know, take all the notes, scribble it down. A lot of them probably will make sense as well. You know, like, I remember that I took notes of a few abbreviations on their like KPI slide that I’d seen and I was just like, what are they tracking? What is that I don’t understand. And and it took me for a couple of them, it took me quite a while because obviously you kind of don’t want to be the person that, you know, ask the obvious question. And there’s someone in support, like I often find, you know, working with people that are way more on the business side or way more on the finance side, you don’t want to be that person that kind of shows that you might not know something. And so I then became very active and started to like, Google these abbreviations and found like, nothing that made any sense. And we need to figure out that they are very internal ways of measuring some of our, like, key KPIs. And I had to ask the question, there was there was just no way I would otherwise find out. If there’s also anything that I maybe can say to like, you know, help people ease into that. ask the questions. It’s totally fine. Like, yes, you might feel hesitant about it, but just ask, you’re new, you have every right, just do it. And even if it’s something obvious, you know, whenever it’s not obvious to you, everybody comes in a row with a different background, a different history. Just ask.

Charlotte Ward 5:09
I think you’re absolutely right. I think that there are a few things there that I want to just pull together. One is that if people are annoyed with you for asking questions, I would question whether you’re in the right place or not, which is probably the first 30 days is probably a good time to do that. But yeah, the second thing is that Yeah, everyone brings their own understanding. You’ve been hired for your understanding and perspective on the work and on the role. And it’s okay to build the context that you need to complete that picture within the organisation, isn’t it? And then you only get there by asking questions. And as I often tell my children the only stupid question is the one you know the answer to.

Natalie Ruhl 5:51
Yeah. And there’s a good saying in German banished flat black dome. The one that does not ask stage two But, you know, like, it’s it’s like how are you going to find out if you if you don’t ask the question. And as you just said, like, maybe it’s not the right place for you if you really feel out of place when you do. And, but it’s also, you know, something that happens quite naturally to people that have maybe done this onboarding session. 20 odd times. And they they might might not have like been aware of like, Oh, yeah, actually, we use quite a lot of internal language, but we don’t explain it. So it’s also always an opportunity to give feedback.

Charlotte Ward 6:34
Yeah, and improve it for the next person. That’s it for today. Go to customersupportleaders.com/93 for the show notes, and I’ll see you next time.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai


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