11 weeks at 11:FS

Terry Cordeiro
5min read

11:FS Product Lead Terry Cordeiro reflects on what it’s like to be a new “11” after nearly three months on the job.

After more than nine years working for two of the UK’s largest high street banks and a career working for medium to large-sized organisations, I decided to do something different. I joined 11:FS as a Product Lead.

I’m hugely passionate about changing the face of financial services, so I was really excited about the company’s mission and vision – and at the same time a little daunted about jumping into consultancy, having always been client side. Moving from a company of thousands to an organisation with only 150 staff was also going to be something of a culture shock.

This is the story of my first 11 weeks at 11:FS. As you can see, I'm already getting on brand!

Day one and onboarding

Joining a new company is always exciting, but it can also be quite stressful and anxious.

You want to get started and make an impact quickly. This is why a well-thought-out onboarding process is crucial, and not just for the first day or two.

My onboarding process with 11:FS actually started a few weeks before my first day. I got to meet a few team members and some of the business leaders, which meant that there were already a number of familiar faces on day one. This really helps settle the nerves.

By the end of the first week, I felt really settled, happy and ready to get cracking

From there, things have been really positive. I was met at reception by Caitlin – one of the HR co-ordinators – and shown to my desk, where my kit was waiting for me. And there was an even more pleasant surprise: when I booted up the laptop, it actually worked!

I had instant access to my email and Slack accounts. I know you might be thinking this should be the norm, and you’re right: it should be! But it isn’t a reality at many firms.

Getting up to speed

I was also surprised to see that Caitlin had pre-booked meetings for me with business leaders and colleagues over the course of the following two or three weeks. These might appear to be small things, but they made me feel part of the company straight away. By the end of the first week, I felt really settled, happy and ready to get cracking.

Something I haven't experienced before is the buddy process, where you’re partnered with someone in a similar role. Your buddy helps you settle in and navigate new systems, introduces you to people you need to know and generally makes being part of a new organisation really easy.

A big thanks to Nick for his support during my first few weeks – it really did help!

Colleagues actively seek the thoughts and opinions of others. I like this feeling of psychological safety and inclusion

I’ve found the people here to be super smart, friendly, welcoming and supportive. It’s a diverse workplace, which is really important to me and quite rare in financial services.

What I also love is there appears to be an unwritten “no HiPPO” rule. HiPPO is short for “Highest Paid Person’s Opinion,” and from my previous experience, there’s a tendency in most organisations for people to just follow the opinion or decision of the most senior / powerful / highly paid person in the room when ideas are being presented.

I can honestly say I’ve not seen any evidence of this at 11:FS. Colleagues actively seek the thoughts and opinions of others. I like this feeling of psychological safety and inclusion.

Establishing company values

Recently, David, our Group CEO, released our company values at a town hall meeting. I think it’s so important for an organisation to have core values, and the ones he presented really resonate with me (more to come on this!)

Of course, every firm will say they have values. They’ll put posters on the wall and reminders on an intranet or wiki, but what’s really neat is how we’re embedding ours through the giving of 'High Fives'. This is via a system, 15Five, which acts as our performance management tool, OKR repository and much more.

There are so many people prepared to help and coach, so I feel like I’m learning every day

With High Fives and emojis that represent our values, we can give on-the-spot recognition to helpful co-workers, or someone who’s done something great for the company by demonstrating some or all of the values. It’s amazing what a pat on the back can do for your self-esteem and sense of worth.

A different perspective

Moving into consultancy work has been a big change in mindset for me after being on the client side for so long. However, that experience has also helped me see things from the client’s perspective and I’ve already found that the team values this insight.

There’s a great mix of backgrounds and experience in the office, which is fantastic from a learning perspective. And there are so many people prepared to help and coach, so I feel like I’m learning every day.

It’s been great fun starting life as an “11”. The work here is wide and varied across many international boundaries, ranging from client research to product build and delivery, as well as our content and events such as the renowned Fintech Insider After Dark. Our Christmas event sold out in under 12 hours! I’ll be there, so if you have been lucky enough to grab a ticket, come and say 'hi!'.

All in all, I’ve really enjoyed my first 11 weeks at 11:FS. A big thank you to all who have made it a fun and interesting place to be. I know this doesn’t happen by chance – it’s down to the hard work of many.

As I wrote this, I’m also head down on some really interesting client work. From what I've seen and heard, 2020 will bring even more promising opportunities.

11:FS is growing fast. If, like me, you are looking for a new challenge, we have a variety of roles available. Check them out here: https://11fs.com/careers.

Good luck!