February 1st was the day it all began. My new adventure as Content & Operations Manager at LevelUp Ventures in Amsterdam. I had woken up early as I had to travel from Bilthoven, feeling excited and a bit nervous for my first day. Greeted by 2 amazing office managers, I received a welcome package and a big smile from Aik. I was then introduced to the coffee machine on our floor. Oh hello good coffee beans! The roasty and intriguing smell tantalised my senses and the first sip of the liquid gold calmed my initial nerves. Happy to know that my coffee-addiction could be satisfied here.
I was then shown to my seat in our fishbowl-like office. A lovely closet-sized room with windows on every side. Small, but cosy and beaming with good vibes and energy from my team. The WeWork building hosts hundreds of cool startup companies, all situated in bright fishbowls, with lots of different meeting rooms, spaces and lounge areas on every floor. All ambitious, young entrepreneurs and eager to get the day started. This was a place I could definitely fit in.
However, most first days are never really identified as smooth. Apparently I had to register my keycard with a link I never received. Going to the toilet by myself was not an option without having this registration complete. And so every time I left the floor to find a bathroom, I desperately waved at anyone nearby to let me back in again. Great way to meet new people though. Late afternoon the moment finally arrived when my keycard was activated. I have a picture on my phone to prove my happiness being able to travel with the elevator for the first time.
Wanting to go home after a long day of introductions, information overload and smiling at everyone I was introduced to, our weekly office hairdresser Sjaak invited me for a (free!) beer. Wait what, free beer? Yes. Free beer. Okay, just one shouldn’t be a problem. One beer is never one beer though, and without going into detail I can tell you one thing; there was disney song singing involved. #asyoudoonyourfirstday
The next few days involved getting to know my colleagues better and understanding (or attempting to understand) the workflow and tools that LevelUp uses. Quickly I learned that humor levels within LevelUp was indeed a different kind of level. Nevertheless, I found myself adapting rather rapidly (not sure if that’s a good thing…). I find humor incredibly important on the workfloor and was relieved to realise that there would not be a day without laughs at the office.
One week later, I can still confirm that I have been laughing out loud every single day at work. First weeks at a new job are always for learning excessively, observing and just taking in everything that the company does. Nevertheless I given my first challenges to complete or think about from the outset, which was really cool. Thrown in the deep, head first without a lifevest of any kind, I plunged into LevelUp activities and processes trying to keep my head above the water. And with the help and presence of my new and really great colleagues, I am still swimming and I am still smiling.
Obviously I haven’t mastered every skill, tool or process yet, and I am just easing into the role I will be fulfilling here, I am excited to see where I will be in a month’s time. My goal here is to not only excel professionally and help LevelUp get to the next stage of their startup life, I aim to develop myself on a personal level as well. In the right environment where communication is open and stimulated along with encouraging mentors in my team, I believe LevelUp is perfect for me to achieve my goals. Despite all the early mornings and the (still) late evenings (due to the commute back to Bilthoven), I burst with energy and am very eager to get right up to speed to help level up myself and this company.