One Year and Counting!

September 19th, 2021

Yay! I got the job! 

One afternoon, I got a call from Solution Street with an offer to join their team. After a week of applying and interviews, I got the job and I am ecstatic! 

Time flies and this year marks my first year working at Solution Street. And yes, it has been a great year. 

New Beginning

Do you remember your first day of going into college or high school? The feeling of excitement with a little bit of nervousness? A butterfly in your stomach? Yes! That is similar to what I felt on my first day at Solution Street.

Working as a consultant, I started my first day at the client’s office for my first project. Imagine how nervous I was, going straight to the battlefield! Luckily on this project, I was joining a team with members from Solution Street. That made me feel a little better, as I, as a representative of Solution Street, am not totally new to the client. 

As a new member of the team and to the client, my Solution Street manager was considerate enough to accompany me on my first day to the client’s office. It was a simple gesture that was helpful, and I was personally thankful. It helped me settle in on my first day.

The New Guy or Gal

As a new kid on the block, people’s eyes are on you. Will she be as good as what she said? Will she be a good fit for the project and the client? 

Since no one in the company has worked with you before and can attest to your work and your work ethic, there will be questions and uncertainty. Joining as an experienced developer and saying you are good is not enough until you prove it. 

At Solution Street, it is typical to work on the technologies you know in your first project with the company. Build your base reputation and then work your way up. 

It gives you an advantage working on the technologies you already know. Of course, people tend to expect more from you commensurate with the level of expertise you bring to the team. 

Aside from working with developers and being founded by software developers, what I like the most about Solution Street is how they encourage and support career growth.

Working from Home

A couple of weeks after I started, Covid strikes and everyone starts working from home. I like working from home. I like the flexibility and convenience of being close to my kids and still do my work. 

Because of the pandemic, my working-from-home setup changed. Everyone is home. My husband started working from home and loves it. Kids are home all day. It’s a full house and a little chaotic. Thankfully, my parents are staying with us, ready to help. A blessing in disguise.

But since I just started with the company, with a new team and a new project, working from home full time is something I didn’t expect to do nor would I advise doing when you’re new to a company or client! 

I still opt-in to in-person interactions. It brings great benefits and the best way to get something accomplished. Building strong connections and understanding the person you are talking to through their body language is best when the person you are talking to is visible in front of you, rather than on a screen. 

But you do the best you can in the given situation. And with the ease and advancement of technology, nothing is impossible.

New Working-from-Home Setup

I had to do something to make the new working-from-home setup work. 

I found these 3 items really helpful with the big transition:

  1. Communicate Regularly

Communicating face-to-face is hard enough. Making sure I communicate effectively when working from home is key and using the best technology such as Microsoft Teams, Google Chat, and Zoom really helps. Making sure I am online during working hours, attending virtual meetings regularly, responding to emails and messages in a timely manner, and letting my team know of my days off also helps.

  1. Dedicate a room or space only for work and set up regular work hours 

When I occasionally worked from home before, I worked everywhere in the house. As for my current situation, that would not work anymore. So setting aside a location where I can concentrate and work properly is best. The same with the hours to work. Our body is like a clock, the same as our mind. Setting up the hours to work helps me to function and work properly. It gives me the work-life balance feel such that outside of my office hours, I can go and do other things.

  1. Do what I enjoy outside of work hours

This kept me sane during the pandemic. I enjoy playing with my kids, which comes first as soon as I get off work. Cooking and taking care of my plants relax me. 

Things I Like about Solution Street

Aside from working with developers and being founded by software developers, what I like the most about Solution Street is how they encourage and support career growth. 

My Solution Street manager works with me on my goals and helps me realistically achieve them. He guided me with the path I could take, not just to be a great developer but most importantly to be a great consultant. 

I set goals such as improving my knowledge about the technology I already know or learning a new programming language that is new and interesting, which can be useful and beneficial in my future projects.

Another thing I like that I recently participated in is the Opportunity Projects Solution Street offers. These are small client projects that you can work on in addition to your regular project. This is optional and only for those who have time to spare and are interested. My Opportunity Project has a minimal work hours requirement that is perfect for me. 

I like having these projects because it helps me to brush up my skills on any technology, especially in the one I just recently learned. And it is a good diversion from my regular work.                  

Other things I like and am thankful Solution Street offers are:

  • work-life balance and flexibility
  • ability to work from home 
  • company culture
  • wide range of technologies and projects to work on
  • “fun” as one of the core values
  • and more 

Looking Back, the Challenges I Faced

It takes some time to fit in and adjust to a new company, new project, and responsibilities. Sometimes life happens and not everything goes as planned.

Here are the challenges I faced and how I dealt with them:

  1. Time Management

This became more challenging because of the pandemic. Creating a “to-do” list and setting goals helps. Breaking down my goals into small tasks makes them manageable and keeps me organized and productive. And since the pandemic, letting my family know about my work hours and break time to set boundaries.

  1. Distractions

Working from home has its pros and cons, one main challenge I faced working from home is the distraction. A lot of distractions!

Having a dedicated workspace and setting dedicated work hours are very important. That way I can separate doing my regular work from doing household chores and other non-work-related stuff. 

For Years Ahead

Overall, I am happy in my first year at Solution Street. 

I like challenges, I like consistency and learning new things. It is something that Solution Street offers that keeps me going. 

Happy first anniversary to me! 

Thank you, Solution Street!