My First Monkey Month
Starting a new job is a scary thing, even more so when you’ve been working solo for years. All of a sudden you’re questioning your skills, speed, and knowledge. Having a supportive, collaborative, hardworking team is crucial to helping you feel comfortable as a new hire. Thankfully, these first few weeks I’ve worked here have been an absolute blast. Let’s take a minute to break down how that journey looked.
Back in February, I received an email about a possible designer position with Cheeky Monkey Media. Super excited at the possibility of working with an incredible team, I replied right away and jumped on the opportunity. A week from then I found myself in the Cheeky Monkey office sitting across from Rick and Cody.
My interview with Cody and Rick went well (in my opinion, at least), and we hit it off quickly. I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t get distracted for a few minutes by the Millennium Falcon Owner’s Guide book on the table in front of us. Looking at it now that book really should have been titled Corellian Engineering Corporation YT-1300 Light Freighter Owner’s Guide if you want to get technical…
Welcome to the jungle
Anyway, chatting with some of the other folks around the office after my interview I wasn’t all too nervous about meeting the rest of the troop, but I was worried about meeting their expectations. Moving from the freedom of a freelance life to my first agency position was daunting. Suddenly I went from working alone, at home, and in my undies, to having eight collaborators in an office (that requires me to wear pants) with processes and workflows that I needed to adapt to! On top of all that, there’s a Cody in the office, and my name is Kodie! Talk about confusing. Thankfully they’ve nicknamed me K2 (which is pretty rad if you ask me) to avoid that confusion.
Almost immediately I learned that being a monkey isn’t just about producing great work on a consistent basis, it’s about belonging to a dedicated, fun-loving team. The troop here at Cheeky Monkey Media have been incredibly welcoming and supportive since day one. Making the transition from freelancing to teamwork was so much more comfortable than I had initially thought it might be, mainly because everyone here is willing to answer questions and offer assistance when needed.
I’ve learned more about graphic design and web development in the few weeks I’ve worked with Cheeky Monkey Media than I did in the last year of freelancing. There’s been a learning curve, without a doubt, but it’s a good one. Between the regular Nerf wars, back and forth banter, and Friday afternoon beer’o’clock it’s an incredible work environment.
That’s nice, but do you do any work?
As fun and wacky as the office sounds, yes, we also do work at Cheeky Monkey. Day one as a graphic designer at my first ever agency. gulp I sat down and started setting up my new MacBook Pro.
A bit of an aside: I’m a Windows guy through and through. I love my Start bar, I love the Blue Screen of Death, and yes, I even tolerate Clippy the Paperclip. Setting up my new work laptop was one of my first times using a Mac, and I could write a whole other post about making that switch.
After getting everything installed and updated I was ready to tackle my first project. Let me at a logo! Watch me whip out a website! Bash out some branding? No problem! I got this! K2 is on the job!
My first project was a video storyboard for a pretty darn big client. I think the last time I made a video storyboard was back in high school for a history project about the French Revolution! After a couple of conversations with my new coworkers about the client, their goals, and whatnot, I got to work. Fast forward a bit, and after a couple of rounds of revisions, we had something the client was happy with and fired the files off to their new home. Score one for K2!
Over the next few weeks, the Monkeys broke me in slowly with some mobile website designs, social media images, newsletter collateral, blog posts, and all those little jobs in between. When word came back that clients were enjoying the work I’d done, they gave me some more challenging tasks like infographics, home pages for desktop sites, user directory pages, and more. Not only was I creating great work, but for the first time in a long time, I felt great about my work.
So what’s next?
With a few projects under my belt (as well as a couple of foosball wins) I think I fit in pretty well here at Cheeky Monkey Media. Clients have been enjoying my work, the dev team doesn’t hate me, and I’m happy with what I’ve been putting out into the world. Earlier I said that having a supportive, collaborative, hardworking team is crucial to helping newbies feel at home.
And y’know what? That’s what I’ve found here at Cheeky Monkey Media. I can’t wait to see what comes next.