First 90 days at Amazon.
Recently, I completed 3 months at Amazon. It is a small landmark, but here are my reflections:
1. ‘If you don’t prove yourself in the first 3 months, you could be fired’ – an ex-Amazonian said to me before I started. I don’t know how true that is, but I have been on my toes since day 1 – giving it my all, trying to absorb everything around me that makes Amazon the beautifully complex and mesmerising organization it is. It is still Day 1 for me, not only because I am a little scared, but also because there is so much I don’t know, there is so much to learn.
2. I don’t know if Amazon is a good or bad guy. I ask myself that question every single day. But I do know that it is the big guy. And if you want to make a mark here – you have to work on the most impactful things, you have to move the needle. I’ve learnt to use that filter when prioritizing my tasks.
3. Excellence is hard to achieve and harder to pursue. A lot of the things I was ‘okay’ with prior to Amazon, are things that I find mediocre. I’m learning to raise the bar and be as right as possible. And it takes a LOT to do that.
4. If the people you work with are stakeholders in your progress, you will be at your best. I’ve seen that with my team. And though I don’t have data to prove this, I strongly believe it is because we have a lot of amazing, hardworking and empathetic women on our team.
5. Do. You will be overwhelmed with so much going on. But the best way to learn is to put your head down and get to it. Start small, get the low hanging fruits, and learn along the way. If you try to look at all that you don’t know, you’ll be left behind in no time.
6. Ask. Nobody will remember your dumb questions if you use the answers to deliver results. Especially if you’re new, lean on the resources and people you have in place – it is better to get help to get things done than to go solo and not deliver.
7. Work hard. This is only true for laggards like me who aren’t as smart as the rest of the pack – but putting in the extra hours and multi-tasking to be more efficient can more than make up for the dearth. There is immense power in consistent and sincere hard work, and it does more for you than what just raw talent does.
8. Be curious. Ask why? This will help you get the basics right and allow you to dive deep into something that you may otherwise resolve anecdotally. The ‘why?’ will always keep you learning, and it is the only thing that’ll help you outperform yourself.
Well, that is a lot of reflection for a short 3-month period, but trust me, Amazon moves fast – and a lot can happen in 90 days. I’m not sure what my future at this company may look like – but I’m thankful for the people I work with and the things I get to learn. I’m going to keep giving my best, because that is all I can really do.