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#1 Piece of Advice for New Hires

When I first started at Airbnb, I asked a few key executives what advice they had for me starting out at the company, something they would recommend doing. They all emphasized the importance of grabbing coffee with as many different colleagues as possible from various departments and disciplines.

Why? You start building valuable connections, you learn about the company and how you fit into the ecosystem, and the first few months is when you have the excuse and time to do so.

I followed up and asked them for a few names of people they recommended I meet with. From there I either had them facilitate an intro or I sent a version of the email/slack at the bottom of this post*.

It’s some of the best advice and something I recommend for anyone starting out in a new role.

Those first few months at a new job can feel overwhelming as you're trying to learn the ropes. But taking some time early on to get coffee - whether virtually** or in person - with folks across the organization is so valuable.

Beyond just introductions, these casual chats are a great way to put faces to names and learn how other roles intersect with yours. You'll pick up valuable contextual knowledge, plus start discovering who handles what.

Making those small personal connections will come in handy later. Don't be afraid to reach out in those critical first months. Even through video chat, you'd be surprised what you can learn over a casual cup of coffee.

*Email template:

Hi [Name],

I hope you're doing well! I recently started in my new role here as [job title] and have been trying to learn as much as possible about how everything operates. [Name] recommended you as someone I reach out to. I noticed that you're the [role/department] - I’d love to learn more.

Would you be open to meeting up for a 30 minute coffee and chat sometime in the next week or two? If you're free, let me know what days work best for you and I’ll send a calendar invite.

Looking forward to hopefully connecting soon.

Thank you,

[Your Name]

[Your Contact Details]

**Virtually coffee/chat tip:

Hi [Name],

Really looking to our call [Date/Time]. Since we’re meeting virtually, here’s a coffee on me to enjoy during our chat.

[Include nominal gift card to local coffee shop or Starbucks].

Speak soon,

[Your Name]

[Your Contact Details]

Me at Airbnb HQ

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