I started at Elastic as a recruiting coordinator in November 2016. Four years is a long time for most people my age to stay at one company, let alone their first company. But my reason is simple: I’m continuously learning and growing here.
Since 2016, I’ve grown from a fresh-faced undergrad eager to schedule interviews on our Recruiting Operations team into a global onboarding specialist on our four-person Non-Recruiting HR team. Now I work as a learning & organizational development consultant on our Learning and Organizational Development team. The constant changes have made time fly.
But what is the secret to growing at a company that is constantly changing? How exactly do you prepare for what’s “next” when even your manager doesn’t know? From my (limited) experience, you do and you don’t.
Here’s what I’ve learned so far by using our Source Code as a guide.
Embrace IT, Depends
When I was promoted to be the HR Ops global onboarding specialist there was no job description, let alone a playbook. We were still under 500 employees. I learned that challenges — in the form of on-the-job learning, stretch projects, and timeline obstacles — change you for the better if you let them. I quickly developed a bias for action; doing something was always better than doing nothing because with feedback, I knew if I was going in the right direction.
Understanding that life happens for us, not to us, was groundbreaking to me. I regularly have to remind myself that mindset matters. Embracing IT, Depends means ambiguity and uncertainty shouldn’t hinder us, they should spur us into action. Ambiguity is an opportunity to map out what isn’t clear, and uncertainty is the opportunity to act on what we can control. Everything is part of the process.
Strive for Progress, SIMPLE Perfection
If we’re doing our work right, it’s not always going to be easy; and the more we own our learning, the faster we’ll improve. When Elastic launched Workday implementation, I didn’t know much about HR information systems, much less how to build out an onboarding system. Consequently, I learned by doing: hours in Workday sandbox, videos, endless questions for those who knew the system (there are many people to thank for their lessons), online handbooks, you name it. A LOT of mistakes were made, but progress was made as well.
With small iterations, I improved, and that’s Progress, SIMPLE Perfection in action. It’s been a privilege to watch the most successful people at Elastic excel because of their tenacity in doing two things: seeking knowledge/feedback and implementing it.
The lesson here? Don’t wait for more resources, tap the knowledge of experts, and use everything you have to do what you can now. It’s no coincidence that “build, measure, learn” aligns with Shay’s overall approach to the creation of Elasticsearch.
Consider 01.02, /FORMAT
No one does great things alone. We need each other to reach our full potential, and working together starts with understanding one another. It took a team to build out our onboarding, and two things made all the difference: collaborating with others and having empathy.
01.02, /FORMAT is not only code for assuming positive intent, but also for putting people first. Empathy underlies everything we do. Whether you are in engineering, sales, marketing, or corporate functions, we are continuously striving to be user, customer, or client-centric. The ability to step out of our own perspectives and into someone else’s is essential, regardless of our roles. In engineering, this might mean writing code for future coders. In sales and marketing, it might mean catering directly to the customer. In corporate functions, it means aligning with the business. The best outcomes are mutually beneficial, and that often means thinking of the other party first.
Focus on Speed, Scale, Relevance
Start with the end in mind. Things will likely be drastically different a month from now, let alone a year from now — 2020 has taught us that. If we want to be impactful in an ever-changing world, we need to think big picture about what really matters: If you were to do something today for Elastic next year, what would it be?
As we build from the ground up on the Learning Operations and Development team, Speed, Scale and Relevance is at the core of our objectives. Can five people alone successfully support a 2,000-person organization? Doubtful. Luckily, that’s not the goal. The same pieces of Source Code outlined above that can help someone grow and succeed at Elastic are exactly what make every Elastician part of our learning strategy and solution. Each of us has valuable information to share.
We learn on the job by embracing every IT, Depends situation. We recognize that Progress, SIMPLE Perfection comes from leveraging whatever learning resources are available to us — formal and informal. We’re mindful that 01.02, /FORMAT is a gateway to learning from others. And we know that striving for all of this (and more!) can only be done at Speed, Scale, Relevance if we’re in it together: building our weaknesses, stretching our strengths, supporting all of our efforts, and learning from each other.