Starting a new job is always an exciting experience filled with change and opportunity. However, I’d be lying If I said starting my first post-grad job in the midst of a global pandemic didn’t make me a bit anxious. While I had experience with solo remote work before, I’d never worked for a rapidly growing international company fresh off an IPO. How would I “meet” my team and colleagues? Would my onboarding be more endless Zoom calls like the ones I thought I left behind in college? How would the company culture I loved from the interview process translate into my day to day, and how could I set myself up for a successful career start from my “office” in the corner of my bedroom? Looking back on it nine months later, there was nothing to worry about.
Outbrain’s company culture was something that really stood out to me during the interview process. We’ve all heard how common it is for people to hop between jobs every year, but everyone I interviewed with had been at Outbrain for five or more years already. Clearly there was something about Outbrain’s company culture that was keeping people around. Within days of starting, I could see why. Every Zoom call with a new face started with questions to get to know each other, and would end with a sincere offer to reach out if I needed to. Whether it was my teammates, my boss’ boss, or someone in a different department who I’d be working with on a more limited basis, the mindset was always the same – we were all ‘new’ once, we are all always learning, and we ought to help each other out whenever we can.
Onboarding was incredibly straightforward, with clearly communicated goals and checkpoints for me to achieve. Outbrain typically onboards new hires in “cohorts” so I got to virtually meet colleagues from around the world and learn about different aspects of the company. Often, these sessions were led by team leads from that department, which meant I learned a lot about how each department impacts others, and how my role fits into the bigger picture at Outbrain. As someone who joined Outbrain in part due to the opportunities it provides to grow your career, this was the perfect way to get started and discover everything that makes Outbrain, Outbrain.
Developing relationships with my coworkers and team lead was a breeze. Since half of my team is in the United States and half in Israel, we can’t just “run into” each other in the office. Instead, we have to be more intentional about finding time to connect, get to know each other, and get work done.
Thankfully, since Outbrainers have been located around the world from (almost) day one, developing relationships across borders and timezones is baked into our company culture. My team lead, who actually started in the role I’m in, has always emphasized the importance of teamwork and communication and that’s led to great conversations and ideas coming to light when the whole team gets together.
The potential for career growth was also a huge draw for me. Outbrain promotes heavily from within, and chasing your curiosity is encouraged. There’s a “buddy” program for new hires, mentorship opportunities, and plenty of free workshops and online resources to upskill and continue learning. The “Expand Your Toolbox” part of our culture manifesto is taken seriously, and it shows!
Starting my career at Outbrain was a great decision, and I’m excited to see what the future holds. Seeing what my colleagues have accomplished in their own time here, and what opportunities they’ve had along the way, has me very optimistic for my professional growth at Outbrain in the coming years. If you are nervous – like I was – about changing jobs, reach out to me anytime for an informal chat! And for those keen to see which open jobs are available at Outbrain, don’t hesitate to visit our career page.