Welcome to your first day as a new employee at Sink & Ship, the best online destination for bathroom reno essentials! If you’re reading this, it means you made it all the way through our rigorous interview process without being ghosted for no reason or being scared out of this profession entirely. That in itself is a reason to celebrate!

We know that few things are as stressful as starting a new job—you have to adapt to a different routine, wade through an unfamiliar set of processes and tools, and figure out which cultural and interpersonal landmines to avoid stepping on, all while taking on an entirely new set of responsibilities.

The good news? You don’t have to go it alone. We’ve put together this handy onboarding guide to help you swim through your first few weeks at Sink & Ship.

Step 1: Take some time to read through the company wiki

We strongly believe that providing experiential learning is necessary to help new employees thrive. Creating an experience that allows new hires the time to shadow peers, talk through tricky scenarios, and ask context-specific questions is the only way to guarantee meaningful learning.

And if we had time to set up a system like that, believe us, we would. But to be honest, your manager and team were much too busy fighting proverbial fires and trying to stay on top of their own rapidly expanding to-do lists to do anything like that. 

But fear not! We can offer you the next best thing: a 578-page wiki called Just the Essentials: What You Need to Know About Sink & Ship that you can read through at your own leisure over the next few days.

While there may not be any discernible informational hierarchy or narrative flow to this document, trust that all the information you need is in there somewhere. After all, this document was written by over thirteen different contributors over the last five years (and edited by no one! We wouldn’t want to compromise the wealth of legacy knowledge we’ve accumulated over the years by deleting it forever). 

If you still have questions after reading through this entire document—maybe you were frustrated by one of the many dead links you came across, or maybe you weren’t sure which of the four different pages listing completely distinct sets of company values to trust as the source of truth—just let us know, and we’ll be sure to post a message in a long-dormant Slack channel half-heartedly asking for an update that will never come. 

Step 2: Get to know your colleagues

Once you’ve finished reading through the company wiki, it’s time to embark on our most sacred onboarding ritual: enduring several hours’ worth of aimless, painful small talk with 15 people you will likely never speak to again. 

Please go ahead and set up introductory meetings with everyone on your team, as well as the handful of people your manager will select seemingly at random, citing that it would be “good to get a download from them.” 

Yes, most of these people will decline the meeting five minutes before it’s set to start, and will continue to do so week after week until it’s long after it’s become clear that you’ll never work or even interact with this person in any meaningful capacity. We encourage you not to give up! When you finally sit down to chat months from now, it will no doubt be a relief to fill in the blanks that existed for so long, like what the weather is like where they are or what their face looks like when they’re straining to come up with something—anything—to fill the remaining 27 minutes of allotted time. 

Step 3: Set a plan 

Of course, there’s more to onboarding than just wading through pages of circuitous company lore and white-knuckling it through the corporate equivalent of the worst kind of speed dating you could possibly imagine. You’ve also got a job to do!

We’re big believers in setting a plan and sticking to it here at Sink & Ship, which is why you will soon be asked to present your 30-60-90 day plan to your manager. During this meeting, you’ll be encouraged to walk us through a point-by-point rundown of the specific milestones and achievements you plan to hit during your first three months in this job. 

It’s important that you come to this meeting with as detailed a plan as you can. You may be feeling some anxiety about this—after all, can you really be expected to make promises about your performance before you’ve had a chance to get your bearings? And is it even ethical for us to ask you to do this while your willingness to people-please is at an all-time high? These are great questions, but we encourage you to not spend too much time thinking about them. 

After all, we certainly won’t be checking in to see whether you’re making a reasonable amount of progress on this plan, nor will we be intermittently asking whether you need help managing the workload you promised you could manage while you were still blinded by optimism. This document is more of a chance for us to capture you at your most vulnerable, so that if you do end up feeling capable in this job and asking for a raise one day, we have something concrete to point to when we say that you’re not quite performing as well as we all agreed you would—yet! 

Step 4: Set sail towards your future!

Once your onboarding is complete, you’ll be all set to embark on your future here at Sink & Ship. And remember, you’re not steering alone. If you have a question you need answered over the next few weeks, don’t hesitate to ask your manager, who will honestly probably just point you back to the wiki you already read or ask that you add your question to the agenda for your next 1:1 that they will cancel due to general overwhelm and poor time management. 

Finally, if you found this onboarding experience lacking in any way, please don’t take it as a sign that something’s amiss at this company. We’re busy paving the way for the future of bathroom renos, and if it feels like we sometimes have to prioritize profits over people, remember: that’s just a feeling. If it were a fact, wouldn’t it be well-documented in our company wiki? Something to think about. To the future!

Want to avoid an onboarding experience like this? Read The Bright + Early Guide to Onboarding.