Everything comes at you fast on your first day at a new job. There’s a Rolodex of names to learn, you don’t know where anything is yet (tip: locate the caffeine source), and all you’re really trying to do is make a good first impression. The mindset is clear: Make yourself useful, and quick.
Under the best circumstances, this is how a new hire feels. I know this because I came aboard the L&S team only a few weeks ago. Digital Strategist Ellie Stork went through the same process a few weeks before me.
First impressions go both ways, though. As Ellie and I hit the ground running, we took stock of the new digs. What stood out? How were the people? Were we excited to come to work the next day?
What follows are our first impressions of Lawrence & Schiller, or “Four Ways L&S Caught My Eye”:
It starts right when you walk in the front door. Before you have a chance to learn the 70-plus names of your new co-workers, you’re given a tour of the L&S office – and put mildly, the space doesn’t disappoint.
I’ve worked in a variety of settings, from drab cubicle to a newsroom undergoing a major transformation. They all offer their own charms. The L&S space, though, is truly unique. Drab and outdated don’t mesh well with people required to bring creative ideas on a daily basis. Instead, there’s a lot of room for self-expression, shared spaces and collaboration. There’s energy built into all corners of the building, whether it’s personalized and open workspaces or engaging “War Rooms” for meetings and brainstorming.
“The space is unlike anything I’ve ever worked in,” Ellie said.
When you join the L&S team, you’re assigned to a team-within-the-team – essentially a mini ad-agency within the agency at large. It’s here where you’ll spend much of your time.
Ellie joined the Wizards, while I nestled into Space.
The benefits of such a structure became clear to both of us right away. Working on a modest-sized team allows for proficient communication, intimacy and flexibility with clients and teammates, and thorough collaboration.
“The team setting is a great concept,” Ellie added, “and you get a real sense from teammates that we are all dependent upon each other to do the job well.”
If Ellie does something great to help the Wizards, we all win. If Space, or Rogue or Synergy comes through, again, we all win.
Not to mention, it’s great to get an outside opinion from inside your own building.
Sound company structure is vital to success, but L&S is fundamentally a human enterprise. If the team doesn’t come together as a cohesive unit, it’s all for naught. At L&S, cohesion comes from the work we do together – and is aided by a spirit of camaraderie that underpins the operation.
It’s a welcoming atmosphere at L&S, and Ellie and I took notice right away. At the front desk, in the break room, in the bullpen with our assigned teams – at each stop we were made to feel welcome. No hazing. No cold shoulders. At L&S, you’re encouraged to start up some chatter in the hallways, to look people in the eye and say their first name (or nickname). Just be ready to hit the ground running, because you can bet there’s always something for you to do.
The takeaway: You’re here for a reason; you’re a part of the team.
It’s true that 5280 defines what L&S is all about – going the Extra Mile for clients. But there are layers within that mantra, and Ellie and I got an immediate sense of how the L&S culture is unique.
In my first few days alone, multiple people told me: Good ideas can come from anyone.
As Public Relations Coordinator, there undoubtedly will be assignments that cross my desk that differ from what the folks in finance deal with on a daily basis. That’s to be expected. But when my team gathers in the war room to go over a new campaign for a client, I’m not limited to my bubble of expertise. I’m expected to throw my hat into the ring.
With this philosophy at the core of L&S operations, new hires are empowered to learn outside their designated fields, to take on more responsibility, and to play an active role in growing the company’s footprint.
“I love the hunger – I love that no one is ever satisfied,” Ellie said. “That drive to keep going is inspiring and motivating. Everyone is on the same train, and it’s going.”