It’s been four months since I walked through the doors of HubSpot for my first day, and I’m honestly shocked at how quickly time has flown by. It truly feels like yesterday that I was sitting in the 2C kitchen with my fellow new hires, nervously putting cream cheese on a bagel and drinking soda for breakfast because I couldn’t find the water all while trying not to make a complete fool of myself.
But after four weeks of training, passing my new hire test and crushing the new hire project presentation, I finally got to step into my role as an Inbound Consultant in Pro Services. My first month was full of call shadowing, 1:1s with my manager and mentor, talking to other consultants and just trying to figure out how the heck I was going to be successful in my role.
And then I was assigned my first four customers. I’m not even joking when I say that my heart stopped for a second and dropped right into my stomach. I was terrified, overwhelmed and anxious. As I wrote my first welcome email (which was from a template that I copied and pasted), I must’ve re-read it at least a dozen times before hitting send. But I figured I had at least a week until any of the kickoff calls…that is until three of my customers booked their kickoff calls for the next day. cue the anxiety and stress
New hire training was fantastic, and shadowing other calls gave me an idea of what to expect and how to lead different types of calls. But nothing really prepared me for getting customers of my own. And while I still don’t really know what the heck I’m doing sometimes, I have learned a lot and wanted to share some of my biggest takeaways over the last four months.
1.It’s okay to be nervous. Nerves are good. They mean you care, that this matters to you, that you want to do a good job. It’s all about finding ways to not let them get to you, which leads me to my next lesson…
2. Create a playlist of songs that get you pumped up, and listen to them before jumping on calls. It’ll help you relax and get your mind off things for a minute. Plus, it’ll leave you feeling confident so when you jump on that call, you know you got this.
3. You don’t need to have all the answers. You just need to know how to find them. It’s okay to tell a customer, “That’s a really great question! I’m not 100% sure, but let me do some digging, and I’ll get back to you.” Then, use the resources available to you – whether it’s internal documents, blogs, your teammates or Slack to find the answers and deliver them to your customers.
4. You may be managing customers on your own, but you’re not alone. There’s a team behind you waiting and willing to support you in any way they can. Ask them questions, bounce ideas off them, talk to them when you’re struggling with a customer or you run into a roadblock. You’re not in this alone. As my mentor said, “When we go into these calls, we go in as a team.”
5. You’re going to run into situations you don’t know how to handle. When that happens, turn to the person next to you, and ask. Just like you’re not going to have all the answers, you’re also not going to know how to deal with every situation. Your coworkers and teammates have probably been in a similar situation, and they’ll be able to give you some solid advice about what to do. (And trust me, they’re more than happy to do it.)
6. Take a lunch break. It may be tempting to skip lunch to catch up on customer work or to just eat at your desk. Avoid it as much as possible. You’re going to be juggling a ton of things every day, and your mind needs a break. Allow yourself to have that break.
7. It’s okay to step away from your desk. Go across the street to grab a coffee. Walk down to the kitchen, get a snack and eat it at a table. Go on a quick walk around the building. Find a couch, and just sit there for a few minutes. Talk to a friend. Book the nap room. Wrap yourself in a blanket and just stare at the wall (oh wait…nobody does that but me?)
It’s okay to take mental breaks throughout the day. Trust me, no one is counting how many times you get up from your desk. We’re all adults here.
8. Ask all the questions. Unsure of what subject line to use for a welcome email? Not sure how to position a certain email? Jumping into a new type of call for the first time and not sure where to start? Can’t remember whether you were supposed to follow-up with a customer or the TC was going to do it? ASK. Ask your mentor, ask the person next to you, ask in Slack. Just ask. No one is judging you for asking questions.
9. Seek out and be receptive to feedback. You’re going to mess up – a lot. But here’s the good news: No one expects you to be perfect. You’re going to have calls where you stumble, say the wrong thing, promise something to a customer that their subscription level doesn’t support (oops!), get asked a question you don’t know the answer to…the list goes on.
Record your calls. As many of them as you can. And send them to your manager, mentor, coworker…literally anyone who’s willing to give it a listen. Send the bad ones – especially the bad ones. Ask for their honest feedback, and be open to that feedback. Apply what you’ve learned to your next call and the one after that. The more feedback you seek out, the better you’ll be in your role long-term.
10. If you think of a way something could be improved, talk to your mentor or manager about it. There’s no, “well, we’ve always done it this way” here at HubSpot. Things are always changing. And as a new hire, you bring in a fresh perspective that other people might not see. There are things you’ll struggle with that could be solved with a simple process changed. Don’t be afraid to bring your ideas to the table – even if you’ve only been with the company for a few months.
11. The people who work at HubSpot are truly incredible. Ask any HubSpotter, and they’ll tell you that their favorite part about working at HubSpot is the people. And I get it. The people here truly embody what it means to have HEART. Everyone is so kind, friendly, helpful, open and remarkable in every way possible.
When I made the decision to open up about my struggles with mental illness (something I’m very open about outside of work), I received nothing but love, support and kindness from every one of my teammates. They all offered to help in any way they could – whether it was jumping in on a call if I needed to take a step back, going on a walk with me when I needed a break or being a listening ear when I was having a rough day.
In a weird way, being so open about this brought me closer to my coworkers and truly helped me feel like part of this team. I’m so lucky to be surrounded by and work with such a remarkable group of people.
Working at HubSpot has been a dream of mine since 2014, and I honestly never thought it would happen for me. But a series of painful events led me here, and I’d do it all over again if it meant getting to walk into this office every day. Every single day I walk through the doors of 25 1st Street, I look around and still can’t believe I’m a HubSpotter. But I’m here, living out my dream, and I’m so incredibly thankful for it.
I hope the excitement I’ve felt over the past four months never goes away, and I’m so excited to see what the future holds.