First contact to first month: 4 key steps in my Healx journey
Changing jobs can be a stressful experience and often triggers mixed emotions: the sadness of leaving old colleagues and friends; excitement; imposter syndrome; the fear of not fitting in at the new place.
In mid-2021 that new place was Healx.
As I come to the end of my first month as Associate Director of Engineering at Healx, I want to share some key moments from my journey so far to help anyone out there thinking about applying to Healx – or on the verge of interviewing or starting with us!
1. First contact
It’s widely understood now that employee engagement starts before day one – from the very first contact with the company. Having come from a pharma company with some focus on machine learning and artificial intelligence, I had seen Healx give a talk on drug discovery in this space and I really liked their patient focussed approach.
I was very excited by the prospect of working for a company that developed new treatments for people living with rare diseases, and so I applied!
2. The interviews
As I went through the application process, I was pleasantly surprised to see them collect key demographic information about me. They talk publicly about the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion, and so it was good to see it wasn’t left out of my initial conversations.
Communication during the interview process was also incredibly transparent. I was always clear on what the next steps were, and there was regular contact throughout. I got to meet a wide range of people and really did get to interview the company as much as they interviewed me.
3. Day One Eve
My background isn’t in biotech, medicine, or science. I’m a technologist.
I spent quite a bit of time trying to learn the fundamentals of the world I was moving into before I started, but I still felt the classic ‘fear of failure’ as I approached my first day.
The ‘pre-boarding’ to the company is where I feel Healx really shone compared to other experiences I’ve had in the past. For example, I was given early access to all the tools and content. There was no requirement to do any of this before day one, but getting an understanding of the internal processes and dipping my toe into the biotech world was incredibly useful.
I also discovered that I would be part of a buddy system – something I’d experienced with previous employers. I would be paired up with someone at Healx – my buddy – and they would be there to support my onboarding, help me connect to my new job area, and answer all my “silly questions”.
These things helped a good chunk of my nerves to dissipate.
4. Week One
One of the most relaxing things I found out on day one was that I wouldn’t be on my own. Thankfully Healx onboards new joiners in cohorts, so I was going to be one of six who were starting at the same time.
The week was brilliantly structured around key learning sessions on the various parts of the company: drug discovery, pre-clinical and clinical stages of drug development, the AI technology we’re using to discover new treatments, all aspects of people and culture, and the commercial strategy.
My cohort also shared a Slack channel where we could ask questions and get visibility on each others’ wider experiences.
That first week was certainly a whirlwind, but it was so focussed on helping to maximise our experience and context, and mitigating worry.
Learning through interaction is incredibly powerful, and when you’re living and breathing the world of drug discovery it’s surprising how quickly you can pick up the key concepts – and lose those new role fears.
Healx is growing quickly to support its strong mission of improving the lives of as many rare disease patients as it can. The brilliant support and experience I’ve had leaves me feeling valued and like I’m already contributing to that mission. I have met so many interesting and passionate people who are all driven by the company’s purpose.
As I grow at the company, I’ll do my best to help maximise this experience for the new starters who come after me!
If you enjoyed reading about Terry’s journey to Healx and are interested in joining the team, check out our careers page.