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Reflecting On 90 Days At Canva

Charlotte Anderson, Canva's Talent Brand Lead, shares her journey and the lessons learned during her first 90 days at Canva.


They say that the first 90 days of a new job are the most important because they bring together two key phases - transition and learning. I recently hit my first 90-days at Canva, so I thought, what a great time to reflect on the past three months and provide a peek behind the curtain for those who are soon to start their Canva journey, or those who are interested in joining our rapidly growing team (we’re hiring!).

By way of introduction, I lead Talent Brand at Canva and I sit on our Talent Acquisition team, working with an amazing and diverse bunch of individuals to create an incredible candidate experience while hiring the best team in the world.

So, after 90 days, what have I learned as a new(ish) Canvanaut?

Your onboarding experience

When I started, I was onboarded with 32 fellow new starters (affectionately known as newbies) and the first two weeks at Canva are dedicated to a meticulously planned onboarding program designed to set you up for success. Like any onboarding, there’s a lot take in. While it might feel overwhelming at first, my favourite part about the experience was getting to know my cohort. It’s an amazing opportunity to meet people outside of your area of expertise, build relationships and connect on a personal level. You’re also all going through the experience of being a Canva newbie, so it’s a great way to share learnings, questions and thoughts throughout the onboarding journey and beyond.

Making Connections

I started at Canva in the middle of Australia’s lockdown, and for my first couple of months, I wasn’t able to visit the office. Because of this, I committed to putting myself out there, making introductions to people outside of my immediate sphere of work, actively participating in clubs that aligned with my passions, and taking part in as many learning and development opportunities as possible. I was so humbled by the welcome messages, people checking in and coffee chats - it’s the perfect example of Canva’s value “Be a Good Human” being brought to life.

Hey, Buddy!

As a newbie, you’re paired up with a Buddy who is there to guide you through your first six months at Canva. I happened to hit the Buddy jackpot with our Talent Programs Lead, Jess, who has provided me with a safe space to ask questions (big and small) while giving me all of the necessary Canva context to hit the ground running. This is invaluable as we scale at pace and my catch-ups with Jess are a highlight of my week.

A focus on crazy big goals

The Canva structure is incredibly empowering once you’ve wrapped your head around it, which admittedly, I’m still doing having come from more traditional and hierarchical companies. You are given both the autonomy and support to bring Canva’s crazy big goals to life and in turn, you’re the master of your own destiny. This is a little bit daunting, but when it’s combined with the support and tools that Canva have in place, it really works and empowers you to constantly think bigger and take on new and exciting challenges.

You hit the ground running

Once you’ve completed your onboarding, you’re in and there’s work to be done. And amongst all of this, there’s the opportunity to join trainings and programs, cook-alongs and sit-downs. It’s a wild ride but there’s an infectious energy that keeps you moving forward to pursue excellence.

Being a force for good

And last, but certainly not least, is Canva’s drive to be a force for good. I was fortunate to experience our co-founders, Mel and Cliff, announcing that they were donating the vast majority of their equity (30% of Canva) to The Canva Foundation, and the power of this is not lost on me or fellow Canvanauts. But it’s not just big things, it’s also in the small, every day actions and decisions made that are driven by this core value that make the work you do unique.

Onboarding tips

To wrap up, I thought I’d share some pearls of wisdom from my onboarding cohort - what advice do they have for anyone wanting to join Canva or someone who is about to become a Canvanaut?

“Put time in your calendar to meet each of your teammates 1 on 1, especially if you’re working remotely! It’s much easier to feel at home and supported when you’ve had a chat with the people you’re going to be grinding projects with” – Jack Zezula.

“When you do a Listening Tour and 1:1 with your team, ask them for a recommendation on 1-2 other people they think you should reach out to. It builds a wider network for you and provides much more context for whom you work with and what impact they have on your role” – Char Viscayno.

“Don’t hesitate to apply; it’s a great company, join! Also, as a parent, Canva is proving to be one of the most parent-friendly companies I’ve worked for” – Matt Rosenquist

If this sounds like something you'd like to be a part of we’re hiring in Talent Acquisition and would love to hear from you.