By Dan Young, Marketing Manager.
Hi. I’m Dan, the new(ish) Marketing Manager at e2e-assure. In contrast to my normal ways of working I decided to write a blog on my first 3 months at the company. I hope it will be useful, whether you’re looking to join e2e and unsure what it’s like, are about to join e2e or are a current employee and interested to see my initial experiences.
I’ll try to be really open about my reasons for joining e2e, initial expectations and findings to date – again this is a far cry from anything I’ve done before (in fact I started my wedding speech with the line “Anyone that knows me knows that telling anybody how I feel is pretty much my worse nightmare, let alone a room full of people”.)
Like most people that move companies, I didn’t start out my search with “I need to join [insert company name]” – it was more a desire to have a change and challenge myself with something completely different. For context, I’d previously spent a thoroughly enjoyable 5 ½ years at an EdTech organisation and despite the regular change in projects and roles to get my teeth into, found myself getting a bit too close to ‘comfortable’ for my liking. In fact, I’d allowed myself 6 months or so to find the right organisation, industry and role for me, acknowledging that I’d have plenty to keep me busy and interested and that I had no need or desire to jump into the first role I looked at.
That said, I jumped at the first role I looked at. In what was a serendipitous match up of mutual acquaintances and perfect timing, I found myself talking to the CEO of this scale-up cybersecurity organisation looking to really start Marketing in earnest, having grown rapidly through partners, tenders and word of mouth.
After a few more conversations with different people in the organisation I was convinced that the role was for me (and apparently convinced e2e that I was at least good enough to offer the chance). It was mostly the combination of business goals and priorities, a chance to build up Marketing from scratch and talking to a genuinely interesting, passionate and diverse range of people all before joining that made it a relatively straightforward decision to take the ‘plunge’.
Being completely honest, my initial expectations were that I’d be able to get to grips with cybersecurity rapidly (after all how different is it to tech, I know what Anti-virus software is!), build out a sensible short-term marketing plan, get some quick wins and nail it. This won’t surprise anyone reading this who’s worked with me before.
They say there’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance. I don’t know who ‘they’ are that seem to have been credited for almost every quote in history, but they’re right. What I’d forgotten was the fact that we were (are) still in lockdown and working from home, there wasn’t a current marketing team to pick things up quickly with, the wider Business Development team were (are) incredibly busy (one of the reasons myself and a couple of other new starters were needed) and there was no marketing infrastructure or campaigns in flight to tide things over whilst I got to grips with this new world.
I’m a person who really likes to feel like I’m doing a good job and let me tell you, the first few weeks were tough. Because I’d been at my previous company for a relatively long period of time (at least nowadays), I’d forgotten what it was like to start at a new company and in a new industry. It’s not all that easy, especially when you’re someone who’s often too hard on themselves to get things done. Couple that with the fact that I have very little patience, not knowing everything 2 weeks into the new role started to frustrate me.
However, as the great Albus Dumbledore once said* “help is always available at e2e, to those that ask” and it didn’t take long for me to be more proactive in seeking this support in different ways, through setting up regular catch ups with the incredibly knowledgeable business development team (who are always happy to answer my stupid questions, or at least convincingly pretend to be) to immersing myself in industry news and podcasts. I also had the luxury of great partners and broader team at e2e who have offered advice and support in a variety of ways to make my transition easier.
In addition, I had the good fortune of being able to get stuck into things rapidly with pre-booked events, a press release (on my 3rd day) and plenty of content to work on. This isn’t particularly meant to be an advice article, but getting stuck in, making mistakes (I wrote some pretty shocking content in the first few weeks and no doubt in 3 months’ time will look back at what I’ve written now and shake my head) and getting honest feedback on your work is probably the best advice I can give.
Now that the dust’s settled…
Since taking steps to get more support, be more engaged with the team and just get on with things and get valuable feedback on work from colleagues, the second two months were much closer to my original expectations. Each week and month I feel like I know more and can add more value to whatever I’m working on.
Fundamentally, there’s an awful lot of exciting things to work on at e2e, specifically within Marketing, but also all over the organisation and that’s one of the reasons I joined the company in the first place.
What about you?
As I’ve said, I didn’t intend this to be an advice article particularly, but that feels like a sensible place to wrap this up. So, whether you’re just doing some initial research into e2e, considering a move, have just started at e2e (or any company for that matter) or even have been here a while, my three takeaways from the first 3 months are:
Make mistakes – don’t let fear of being wrong or looking ‘stupid’ get in the way of cracking on with things and getting valuable feedback and don’t take feedback personally. The people at e2e are vocal in their opinions and that is an exceptional strength to allow a measured approach to your work, whether that’s writing some new content, responding to a bid or anything else your role will throw up.
Own your induction – whilst e2e have provided excellent support in a variety of ways as I was being inducted into the company, there’s only so much any organisation can do for you and it’s as much on you as it is the company to ensure you get up to speed at the appropriate pace. For me, this meant realising I needed to be talking to more people more regularly and simply setting up calls with a range of people.
Take the plunge – this is specifically aimed at those considering moving to e2e and my simple advice would be to go for it. Whether you’ve been in cybersecurity for 20 years or are brand new to it, there will be a plethora of opportunities for you to learn and add value from and to the business and colleagues. Whilst I’ve been open that the early days were tougher than I expected, it taught me new things that I didn’t think I’d learn and forced me to take more ownership to get up to speed more quickly.
*No apologies for the slightly geeky reference, also don’t Google it, he definitely said “e2e” and not “Hogwarts”, the man was a visionary.