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Boarding the Bus: My Onboarding Adventure

One thing I know for certain is that starting a new job can be full of unknowns. Why did they decide to hire me? What will my first day be like? What impact will I make? Am I capable of performing in this role? What photo do I use for my Slack profile? Okay, the last one is a bit more trivial, but still, the unsettling dark cloud we so fondly call “imposter syndrome” inevitably drifts in. It can be a real test of your self-confidence - wrestling the excitement against the uncertainty. And all this self-reflection has transpired before you’ve even logged into your new work email.

Welcome aboard!

Starting a new job is much like getting on a bus. You secure a ticket (job offer), arrive at the bus stop where you get on (first day onboarding), stow the luggage you’ve brought with you (past work experience), meet your fellow travelers (colleagues), and set off on a new adventure. Your destination is set, but the road to get there is yet to be defined – will it be slow, bumpy, fast, direct, all over the map? Perhaps accompanied by a “we’ll cross that bridge when we get there” type of mentality? Someone sitting beside you reassures you that things will start to fall into place as the trip goes on, and you can always ask the bus driver (the leader) to pull over and pause if you need a rest stop (1:1 meeting)! Okay, enough with the bus metaphor.

I should note that I have had my fair share of experience when it comes to onboarding, from both the perspective of the new employee, as well as the HR facilitator. No two organizations have the same onboarding process, though they all should touch on the same elements at some point. What makes an onboarding process successful in my opinion (apart from nailing the mandatory items) is the way it reflects the organization’s culture while making the new employee feel like they are now a part of it. This assimilation is often achieved by having the ongoing support and comradery of the experienced team around you.

Mapping it out

I’m in my third week since joining Lisa Isaac HR Professional Services (LIHR) as an HR Advisor and I have already absorbed so much information in such a short time. I am tuning in remotely from Toronto while most of the team is based in Sarnia with the option of working hybrid. I joined the organization to support the delivery of HR projects that clients have entrusted to the LIHR team.

I got to kick off my first day by joining the recurring weekly team meeting, observing the format of the discussion and how the team plans out the upcoming week’s tasks, giving me a front row seat to understanding the various considerations and information-gathering that a particular project requires.

After lunch, I had a platter full of invites to work through, granting me access to the suite of tools and platforms I would soon be using.  My new employee orientation included reviewing company policies and procedures, acknowledging the mandatory statutes for Ontario employment: the Employment Standards Act (ESA); the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA); the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) training; Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) training (we are a Human Resources organization after all!); along with enrollment in a couple professional development courses that will support me in my role.

I’ve had access to my colleagues when I’ve needed them and have leaned on my “buddy” who has been and will continue to be an invaluable resource for me as I ramp up. As of early this week, I’m happy to share that I’ve been invited to my first client projects.


All in all, so far so good. The onboarding experience with LIHR has been a positive one and I’ve really enjoyed how it offers a self-guided approach, allowing me to go at my own pace, yet still having a clear understanding of the expectations pertaining to my role.

I plan to continue diving into the details, getting involved, and delivering quality work for our clients. Though I still have a lot to learn and familiarize myself with, I’ve gained the confidence and reassurance that I’m doing what I need to be doing and it's okay not to worry so much about little things. It’s been a delightful experience so far and one of the standouts is how refreshing it is to see how the team works as a unit and trusts each other.

I started out stating that one thing I knew for certain was that starting a new job is full of unknowns. Well, I know at least one more thing now - it’s okay not knowing all the answers right away. What’s important is to get on the bus, take a seat, and enjoy the journey.

Your HR business partner, or services like our Orientation and Onboarding Checklist, can help you optimize your individual Orientation and Onboarding Program.

For professional HR advice that you can trust, contact us today!

Lisa Isaac HR Professional Services

From the LIHR team and lead collaborator, Jenny Slater, HR Advisor

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