My Rock Solid Onboarding Experience

Every new person on the Rock Solid (previously CitySourced) team goes through a 90-day employee onboarding, not unlike the idea Buffer uses to find the perfect fit for their team. The concept is simple, find the best people, see if there is a mutual fit between that person and the company.  The onboarding period can be thought of as the dating period before getting married. The company always hires with the intent that it will be a good fit for both the person and the company; only once in eight years of this process has someone not move past the boot camp phase.

While I didn't keep a diary of all my experiences through this process I am going to do my best to fill you in on some of the biggest lessons for me and how I overcame them.

Hi, I’m Ashley 

I have a bachelor's degree in Graphic Design, and previously I was an office manager in a marketing agency. Because of my interest in the entire customer process, my boss promoted me to Sales & Marketing Coordinator—I was horrible at the sales part of this job BTW!

After about a year in this position, my amazing boyfriend got a career opportunity just outside of Nashville, TN and I needed to make a change. I searched all over for a career opportunity that fit my skill sets and stumbled through a few interviews thinking 'man if only I could find a remote job.' Then I found Rock Solid on and was intrigued—and I got an interview! So that was awesome!

The Hiring Process

There was a set process in place for the interviews using Skype and a presentation. My new boss, Andrew Kirk, was very transparent about the job requirements and what they were expecting. At the last interview, I presented my vision for Rock Solid's marketing, including how I was going to accomplish all of my ambitious goals.

Getting My Hopes Up

I started to become scared of the idea that I might not get this awesome job. I would have the opportunity to market to government officials, work remote, and be accountable and responsible for the company’s full spectrum of marketing. I wanted to tell stories to the public sector that might not have been told before and to talk about the future of mobile platforms in government.


Spoiler Alert – I got the job! After putting fears aside and landing this job, I was so eager to start. I did a lot of research on how to be the best remote worker, how to collaborate and create content with different departments, and just really hunted for a lot of tricks and tips on marketing in the public sector. I officially started on May 15th and did a lot of learning, reading, and studying in my first 30 days. To my surprise, there wasn't much on how to target public officials or how to reach those officials, nor where they find information.

We used an amazing program called Asana to track tasks and manage the things that I needed to get done, It was organized by tasks I needed to do and learn each 30/60/90 days. Not everything that I did was on this checklist but there were a lot of things to get done or started within the first 90 days. The tasks started off being more about learning and educating myself then they became much more about taking initiative and doing things that needed to be done or taking things off of Andrew's plate that had to do with Marketing. Here is a quick view of some of the tasks that were assigned to me in Asana.

Working Remote

I quickly realized that working remote wasn't this easy-go-lucky thing, it took an extra special mindset to keep focused. At the same time, I also moved right as I was starting this career change! In the beginning, I had my 5-year old daughter playing in the house, my dog needing constant attention, and my house filled with boxes calling my name at all times. It was starting to eat away at me, so I did what any sane mother would do.... I sent my daughter to a day camp! :P Camp took the subliminally discouraging thought of my amazing daughter sitting upstairs on an iPad for 8 hours a day and turned it into quiet 'mommy gets to work time' that I really needed to help me focus.

Because I'm a person that leans toward... "oops I'm failing right now" when I am not going 100-miles-per-minute at all times, I wasn't sure if my new boss was pleased with my efforts or if I was failing. Working in an office my entire career, I wasn't sure how to tell if I was getting all the things I needed to do done.

I had to overcome this fear of failure. I’m my biggest critic. I needed to stop doubting myself and to understand when to reach out for help or clarification. But, I also needed to know when to just try and not be afraid to fail fast and then learn from my mistakes. There are no exact guidelines and I’m still learning.

Becoming Comfortable with Moving Awkwardly Fast

By nature, I'm a process and planning kind of gal, which Andrew learned quickly. He pulled me into planning customer lifecycle marketing and content creation. While appreciative of my planning skills, Andrew also challenged me to move fast in publishing new content, without sacrificing quality. 

While I am trying to quickly create content, I am also a marketer so I want those prospective people to actually convert. It may not be the goal at the moment but I need to think about how things will continue to push forward, evolve, and take flight. But while I am doing that, I need to take advantage of this industry and get Crap documented and out to the public. It's a balance that I have yet to master ;).

I feel like I am missing a lot of things that I would want to share with you, but for now, this is what I leave you with: I love my job and I am grateful to be able to contribute to such an amazing team of people and work for such an inspiring boss :D

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