Starting a job can be scary. Whether you’re new to writing or a vet who’s been in the business for 15 years, those first few weeks in a new writing gig can be daunting. You’re faced with a different workflow, you have to learn your place on the team, and it takes time and dedication to understand the company’s style, voice and tone.
At Wix, it’s no different. With offices all over the world and new writers constantly joining our Writers’ Guild, we know how intimidating it is to be the new kid on the block. That’s why we developed tips to help fledgling writers at Wix integrate into our work culture, learn the Wix voice and get along in the unfamiliar environment. And since these suggestions can really apply at any new writing job, we thought it worthwhile to share them with the world:
When starting out in a new company, it’s common to go through a training period in the first weeks. But along with formal training, we recommend doing some homework on your own. When I started as a marketing writer on the Wix Localization Team, I wanted to wrap my head around the specifics of Wix’s marketing language. I took the time to review previous campaigns in English and in Portuguese, my native language.
Even today, after almost two years at the company, I sometimes go back to what I worked on in the past to make sure my tone is consistent and on-brand. I also invest time in regularly using our products. A writer at any company must stay up-to-date with current projects and new releases. When you know the product inside and out and stay on top of all of the latest developments, you’ll have the tools to write text that reflects your brand.
Tip: Refer back to previous projects, use the product and pay attention to daily trends and changes.
Unless you’re a nomad freelancer in the middle of the desert, you will be working on a team. Inside a large company like Wix, you will probably find yourself a part of several different circles of co-workers — your room colleagues, your team, your guild or your department. Be brave, put yourself out there and meet new people. Ask colleagues if you can join their lunch and really get to know them. After all, you’re going to spend most of your waking hours with these people! Plus, your new colleagues can be great sounding boards for your doubts, ideas and questions. Remember that they, too, had a first day at the company.
Tip: Be open and honest about your concerns and ideas. Even if you are writing in different languages, the tone, message and branding should be the same throughout your company.
Look around. Who really has a handle on what’s going on? Identify someone who seems to have it all under control and ask them to be an informal mentor. Or simply schedule a lunch date with them. Your “mentor” could be someone who was in your position before, maybe even your boss or a colleague with more experience. Try to speak with them about your projects, struggles and anything you would like to share.
Tip: Your mentor should be someone who has been at the company a while. At Wix, I have a few fellow Brazilians in my department and I share a lot with them. As we say in Brazil, “Duas cabeças pensam melhor do que uma.” Two heads think better than one — and they’re even better in the same language!
In work, as in life, things don’t always go our way. When you’re at a big company, you can find yourself working on projects in large groups. This means that your ideas won’t always be the ones that are chosen. Hang in there, keep positive and learn from these situations. Above all else, don’t take it personally when you get feedback about your work. At the end of the day, everyone is trying to reach the same goals. Handling challenges and suggestions with grace will earn you a great deal of credit over time.
Tip: Be open to suggestions and willing to make changes. Understand that you might come from a different work background and be ready to adapt your text or work style to meet the company’s needs.
Larger companies like Wix are usually willing to try new projects, so don’t hesitate to share your ideas. Another suggestion is to write a guide explaining how you and your teammates tackle certain tasks. This can help your current and future team members work more efficiently and effectively. For example, I just finished writing a Wix Marketing Sales Guideline that my team now uses as a checklist during sales.
Tip: Speak up! The company wants to hear your ideas. Write down your work process. You have no idea how much your suggestions can help your colleagues, both today and well into the future.
That’s it! Those were just a few suggestions from the Wix Writer’s Guild on how to integrate into a new work culture and make this big step as easy as possible. Have some more great tips? Write them in the comments below and share this list with your friends.
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