On avoiding common mistakes in a new job
When you’re new in a company, the best thing to do is just to be asking questions, rather than thinking ‘I’m new here, so I better make sure I play with the big guns and throw in my views’. While your views are very valid, if you’re in a meeting with loads of people who have been in the industry for many many years, just make sure you’re saying the right thing. Asking questions is a better way to be involved in the conversation, to show that you care, and it allows you to build a good rapport.
You’ve got to be willing to put the effort and time in. I don’t mean working 24 hours a day, but if you’re in this industry, I don’t expect you to think of your job as a nine-to-five. While you’ll also need to shut off and do other things to re-energise, I do expect you to have passion and be playful [while at work]. At ustwo, we blurred the line between work and play when we started, because we knew that life for us was about solving problems.
On finding the right mentor
[Finding a mentor] can be as simple as reaching out to somebody that you look up to and asking. Just bear in mind that you’re not going to meet every day for coffee. But do put yourself in their position: If you ask “Will you be my mentor?”, they might not think they have the time for it. Make it simple for them. If you pay them compliments and ask, “Any chance I can occasionally reach out to you for some advice?” who wouldn’t want to say yes to that? The chances are they’re busy, so make it easy for them.
On taking care of yourself
In this industry, and world, we have multiple inputs coming left, right and centre (especially with things like social media), so you need to be on your mental health game. Prepare and create a fortress around you; get fit. I personally think it’s good to get out running every single day.
One of our values is to enjoy the journey, and I refer to this every day. If you’re not enjoying something, be a problem solver, not a problem creator. If you’ve got angst, give people feedback, don’t hold it in, slagging them off. Be that person who is prepared to say constructive things to people.