During our college years, most of us can remember attending classes with adult learners. I distinctly remember thinking about how different their experiences seemed to be. They were always a bit more engaged, more invested, and in somewhat of a rush.
As an experienced professional among the new Sales Development Representatives (SDR) at Seismic, I’ve thought a lot about adult students during my first 30 days. I mention adult students, because they always seemed to be keen to learn as much as they could and, at the time, I didn’t fully understand why. As I reflect on my first 30 days at Seismic, I hope to, in some ways, be like the adult learners I remember, while also reliving some of the shared experiences that made being an undergraduate so much fun.
It’s important to be engaged in onboarding lessons
The adult students I met in college came from diverse backgrounds. They were former military, entrepreneurs finishing or furthering their education, and parents entering or reentering the workforce. As adult learners and experienced professionals, being highly-engaged in the classroom stems from real-world experience that creates a deeper appreciation of knowledge, especially when balancing the challenges that come with daily living.
Seismic’s onboarding has made it easy to stay engaged. Training solutions like Lessonly make it easy to work at your own pace, within the flow of a workday or when you have spare time at home. The webinars and virtual meetings have been insightful, and sales leadership have been accessible and encourage questions while delivering thoughtful, valuable responses. And, with most of our learning materials accessible within our internal instance of the Seismic platform, it’s easy to access the content and information we need, when we need it.
I’ve felt engaged in my first 30 days, because, just like the adult students in college, I recognize how important these learning experiences are to my ultimate success. So, it was a big deal that our Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) set aside an hour during the final weeks of the fiscal year to share his experience and advice for a successful career in sales. I wouldn’t let that time go to waste.
Onboarding skills are an investment in your future
In college, when I got to know some of the adult students on campus, they were more invested. They either paid for school themselves or had given up a job to attend classes. In effect, they could attribute a dollar amount to time spent learning.
Having spent some time working and raising a family before starting my role as an SDR, I know that every skill I learn during the onboarding process will directly contribute to my salary and I’ve considered the potential impact on myself and my loved ones.
Lessons I’ve learned throughout my career help me to better appreciate lessons in onboarding. Everything we learn from our leadership team during onboarding, is an investment in the company. They’re choosing to invest in us, and I feel an obligation to show a return on investment by taking advantage of the knowledge they’ve shared.
There’s no need to rush
In college, the adult students I knew were eager to get to the point of a lesson. I believe they understood as adults, that time is money, and the faster you learn new skills, the quicker you can apply them.
During my first 30 days, I’ve often reminded myself to slow down. Indeed, at a certain point, there are quotas and real expectations for my performance, but, for now, it’s more important to build a foundation for long-term success.
Leadership has been outstanding in helping us build that foundation—through quick encouragement, as well as opportunities to improve when necessary.
Always find a way to connect with colleagues
The one thing I didn’t mention was how difficult it was for some of the adult college students to connect. Maybe it was the age gap or the concern that they didn’t have much in common with younger students. In my time at Seismic, I’ve tried hard to make connections, and my younger colleagues have made it easy to build relationships among teammates, even virtually.
It is so important to connect with your colleagues. While it may seem difficult to connect in a remote environment, I’ve found it somewhat easier. I’ve had meetings with Seismic teammates in Germany (shout out Jens!), San Diego, Los Angeles, and Boston. That’s only possible because we are all just a Zoom call away. While I’ve learned so much from my coaches during onboarding, the knowledge I’ve learned from my Seismic colleagues who are connecting with prospects every day will help me to grow. My experience has only been possible because—and I’m biased—Seismic has an incredible culture and some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met!
So, even though I’ve felt like I was treading water for much of these first 30 days, I’ve always felt supported by leadership and colleagues. I know that many challenges await after onboarding, but I know I won’t be facing them alone!
If you’d like to join the Seismic team, check out our Careers page. We’re hiring!